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Are You Sick & Tired of Doing What You don't Want?

hands on steering .png

Many years ago, when I just a young 35 year old, I had an experience that taught me a huge lesson. Here is my experience told in a story I wrote for my new book. What follows my short story is a reflection on how we might benefit from a new perspective, then change our attitude with a big splash of creativity.  Enjoy!

Hands On Steering Wheel

It was Tuesday, another freezing, dreary rainy day in the northwest. My week was just getting started when I got a call from my partner in crime. My girlfriend Judy and I were building a huge custom home on spec. The lot was on the 9th fairway of the local prestigious golf course. We really thought we knew what we were doing when we had the idea, and when we so dramatically designed our dream home in hopes of making the big bucks. Judy was frantic because the call came in from our new foreman. He was asking a ton of urgent questions none of which either of us understood. She was all upset saying, “What will we do, I don’t know what to tell them?”

I peered out my window and saw the pounding rain. Dang, another bad hair day. It was time for me to get ready for work anyway, so I passed on breakfast and ran out to my VW bug to start the engine. The car was so cold that I had to place a brick on the accelerator so it could warm up while I finished getting ready.  This was the only way to warm the car enough to tolerate the extreme damp cold. Within ten minutes I was dressed, out the door, and in my somewhat defrosted VW. I was not happy.

 (Too bad I did not have a fancy Audi like the picture portrays)

My anguish was not about the house as much as it was about the job that awaited me after I visited the job site. The golf course was part of a country club that also had a gym workout facility of which I was a trainer and aerobic instructor. Now this will not sound very nice, but I just did not think I could tell one more overweight person what to eat, and how to exercise. Everyday it was the same place, same words, same exercises on the same equipment, over and over. I was so bored with it and everyone there.

Many things can cause unhappiness and I thought I had plenty of reasons. It was the early 80's, and it was my first Northwest winter after being born and raised in Southern California.  It was always so cold, the kind of damp cold that seeped in my cells and remained there until I submerged myself in a hot bath. It was dark at 4:30 in the afternoon, and it was a long drive to town if I wanted to go out and socialize. My 11-year-old son and I were held captive in our apartment every evening. I missed my family, my old friends, and outdoor walks in the evening, the west coast sunsets, happy hour and a good tan. My hair always looked like shit and I was lonely too.

Building homes had always been a dream. I was thrilled when I moved there to actually fulfill this dream. I should be happy, right? When I arrived at the job site, the rain was still pounding. It amazed me how the people in NW just move on regardless of the weather. Here I am cussing, grunting and groaning while very wet, wondering why anybody in his or her right mind would live here, but here I was.  My own self added to my disdain.

Judy had made a few phone calls prior to her arrival at the site, so she had answers for the crew. It was apparent that they delighted in our ignorance, giving them the opportunity to give us a hard time. We could feel their sneers and judgment and knew they were laughing behind our backs.

As I drove myself to the club, with my attitude in the dumps, I looked at my hands on the steering wheel and suddenly saw what they were doing. There they were, both gripped firmly around each side of the wheel. I was driving myself somewhere that I had decided to go. No one was driving me. No one had a gun to my head.  It was all me. I had made the choice to go there, and at some point in time I was even excited about it.

In that very moment I made a decision. If I was going to make the choice to do something in my life, even daily little tasks, then I was going to love it or leave it. If I did not want to do it anymore, then I would move toward changing the circumstances that were within my power. Meanwhile, I would make the most of what I decided to do even while planning and executing a new path.  Then and there I decided I would quit this job and find a new source of income. But, until then, I said to myself, “let’s have some fun today”.

This decision and insight inspired an entirely new attitude deep within that has lasted me a lifetime. I popped into the club with a smile on my face and lightness in my step. I was going to make this day the best day ever. With that I embraced each person who came my way. This new attitude inspired a reservoir of creativity in how I worked with them. Taking the focus off myself, I asked about their lives, showing genuine interest. I made jokes and found new ways to inspire a fun and satisfying workout for them. Our energies fed off each other as we danced through our time together. Like musicians who are in a grove, we harmonized living our moments with fresh spontaneity. Wow, could it be this simple? Could I just decide to have the best day ever and have it? Well, yes. I discovered a new power that day and it was all because I decided to.

That afternoon I called Judy and we brainstormed how we might court the crew to become team players, players aligned with our vision, players that helped us learn rather than delighting in challenging our ignorance. As we dropped our agenda to act like we knew it all, we schemed, giggled and laughed and came up with a plan. 

The next day we showed up on the job at quitting time, dressed as cute as possible without being too sexy. With an ice-cold bottle of Champagne, crystal glasses, a case of beer, and 3 joints rolled with the best of the NW weed, we said, “We want to celebrate with you. We have never built a house and this is our dream. You guys are the experts and we need you. We really don’t know what we are doing, but we want to learn. Will you help us? To celebrate our first week of ground breaking we brought some party favors.”

With that we unveiled our stash.  A couple guys grabbed a beer instantly while another said, “Hell, I quit drinking a year ago, but would love a doobie”. We cracked the champagne, poured, puffed and toasted. Sitting around in funky chairs, legs stuck in the mud we got to know each other. Gratefully the rain had subsided and our newfound friends joined in our intentions. This was the beginning of the one of the most fun episodes in my life. And the good news? I bought a cute hat.  My bad hair days were over. 

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A New Day - Feeling Trapped

Within my constant study of consciousness and personal development I came across some readings that landed in me like truth.  It has to do with feeling trapped, which I know many people are feeling today. 

When people are feeling trapped, it brings on a very low frequency in the human life force deep within the body. Part of this is due to the fact that our creativity shuts down and we do not breathe deeply. We might feel powerless. When we don't breathe fully, we deplete our energy and reduce our capacities. One of the sure signs of this is fatigue. When we feel tired and loose our dynamism we have usually allowed ourselves to feel trapped. This is not a time in our evolution to diminish our life force. This is a time to be strong. 

This struck home to me because I was feeling trapped. But, you see, I did not know I felt trapped. I was just tired all the time, and have been fighting a fatigue problem. I am that person that goes like crazy and then crashes - the pitta body type out of balance. When my Mom used to call me, and I would tell her I was tired, she would respond by saying, "Well, I guess so. I never saw anybody go like you. You never stop." When I do get good energy, I get so excited that I spend it like crazy. 

Years ago while standing - staring at an open kitchen cabinet full of supplements, wondering which one to take, I heard this voice. It said, "You will not solve this problem by what you put in your mouth." Dang. A pill would be so much easier.

So, when I learned of the fatigue masquerading as the feeling of being trapped. I perked up and realized that I had been feeling trapped, like I did years ago in Washington. This realization called for nothing short of re-evaluating my situation and revitalizing my creativity within it. Why? Because the problem is not solved by changing the outside around us, even though there are definitely things that might need changing. 

The solution could only be resolved by changing my attitude and mustering up more creativity within the world I have already chosen, on some level, to live in. I share this with you now because this is a time for us to be on our game. We must do what we can to keep ourselves strong so that we can keep our families strong, and our communities thriving. With humanity facing its greatest crisis ever - namely the destruction of our own environment, we must dig deep, and use our creativity for collective and practical solutions. 

Fatigue * Weight Loss * Immune Function

I believe this state of feeling trapped and causing fatigue has a has a great deal to do with immune response and weight loss as well. Because when we operate at a low frequency our body does not metabolize our food as well. This means that we don't get the nutrients our food provides, and we don't burn it off as well either. We may feel hungry even when fed, but it is our spirit that is hungry, most likely for more creativity. Creativity awakens our life force. Like in my story, when I got creative within my day, my life force turned on, and I had a great day. The power is within. We know this, but it is not always that easy to recognize. That being said, it is extremely easy to do if we put our mind and actions to it.

I share this in hopes of you freeing yourself from feeling trapped, if you so happen to feel that way. Feeling trapped can be hidden in so many ways, even if we just feel trapped inside a body that does not look and/or feel like we want it to. But, whoever you are, and whatever you are doing, there is enormous creativity in you just waiting to be expressed. This creativity will re-inspire and free up your life force for ????????, perhaps all kinds of magic.

Do you feel trapped? If so, what do you do about it? Let's talk about it. Leave your comments below.

Aloha blessings, Susan Teton

 Please contact me for a no-obligation 15-30 minute complimentary health, wellness, and nutrition coaching session by phone, by Skype or in person (on Maui). Susan@ChefTeton.com.

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Have A Date With Your Future & Become Fully Engaged & Inspirited!

 

 

My friend and colleague, Elaine Wilkes, Hay House Author of Natures Secrets Hidden in Plain Sight called me one day to offer me a “A Date With Your Future” session. I was reluctant because Elaine is always coming up with cool ideas to create, and I was trying to focus. She is the genius of creation, and the most intuitive person I know. But, because I love her, I said, with a long sigh, “OooooKaaaaay”.

We set a date and she called me. 

She began by asking me what was happening a year from now in my life. I spontaneously pulled something out of my imagination of what I would like to have-be in my future. She did not stop there. She, being the master that she is, continued to respond with enthusiasm, and more questions as to how I got there. The session lasted for about 45 minutes and, I say with sincerity, it changed my life in that moment with lasting inspiration. 

Then she encouraged me to go write down what I said. I could hardly wait to do that because a new vision had been born. And, better yet, the strategies to get there were birthed as well.

This was all do to Elaine's intuitive genius that tuned into me, and pulled out my heart and soul. When we did the session I had my eyes closed and just let my higher self answer. There was no fear, doubt or worry involved. It was like painting a beautiful dream. The best part is that I did not let my mind get in the way, you know, the one stuck in stupid limiting beliefs. I let my soul lead the way, and it was so much fun. New inspiration turned into enhanced motivation. Of course, much of this had to do with Elaine, because she is a master of enthusiasm, knowing just what questions to ask, and comments to make to cheer me on.

Give this a try and plant a new a seed for a new vision while Elaine is offering my clients a special discount. Let me know how it goes. Can't wait to hear from you.

Here is an excerpt from her website:

I had the best date ever!

Super fun. Insightful. Loving.

I felt high afterwards.

Who was this with?

I went on a date with my future self.

After going to over 1000 classes and seminars, Elaine Wilkes, PhD, realized the wisest guru was your future self.

"Elaine had me feel and experience all my future accomplishments as if they already happened—a year from now. I gained clarity on how to make my upcoming year outstanding.”

Elaine is exclusively offering my list her $150 sessions, for only $65 a session. Give her a call or text: 310-447-8446.

If you want me to answer any questions, or you would love a 30 minute complimentary consultation, call or text me at: 808-250-1535.

Have your best date ever:

www.ADateWithYourFuture.com

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Support My Campaign on Indiegogo to Publish Eating As A Spiritual Practice!

Help publish my book by supporting me on indiegogo HERE

If you want to truly awaken, alleviate stress, prevent disease, live your purpose and dreams, become healthy and vibrant, all while making a meaningful contribution to the world and your communities, you must start making Eating a Spiritual Practice.

That’s a tall order. Yet, one of the single most powerful things you can do to create a better world, and a better you, is to become aligned with your source, the Earth, and your plate.

Eating As a Spiritual Practice will awaken you to:

  • the profound global repercussions of your food choices.
  • the power food has to reverse almost any condition.
  • why now, more than ever, we must love ourselves enough to become our own purpose.
  • the incentive for abandoning diets, and eating from the Earth and not the factory.

Contribute Now on indiegogo!

Today, we know more about health than ever. We have the most advanced medical systems as well, and yet, we have alarming rates of chronic illnesses. We also have problems with feeding the world, and sustainable food security. What is really going on here?
Author and chef, Susan Teton, says, “It’s all about the food,” but not about diets, proteins, carbohydrates or fats. Eating As a Spiritual Practice inspires a brave new way of eating: dropping diets, and enjoying the bounty of food from the Earth (and not the factory). Adopting a “spiritual practice around food” provides profound personal and global benefit for our present and future generations. Plus, Susan’s story will touch your heart and soul, in ways you may have never considered, as she inspires you with a lively, mouthwatering combination of raw, cooked and cultured foods.

Out in April!  Contribute

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Best Cell Phone Protection From RF Safe

I love my IPhone 6Plus, but I do not like the way it makes my hand and ears hurt...UNLESS....I have it in my case from RFSafe.com.  Here is the great thing about this case. It not only protects you from harmful radiation, but it is so handy in how it works. It is like a little wallet. It is seriously spiffy! Let me tell you why and how much it cost.

The latch that closes the case has a little magnet on it, so it closes easily all the time. The speakers are on the bottom, so you can have the case closed and you can still use the speaker, or just hold the phone and case up to your ear - with it closed - and you can still carry on a conversation.

The camera is also available, but you have to open it to take a pic. The best part is that this casealso protects the phone. When it is closed, you can put it in your pocket or throw it in your purse or car,  and not worry about it getting scratched. I have dropped mine a few times and the case protected the phone perfectly.

I have been using RFSafe products for years. They are the best, in my opinion. You can also get their fabulous ear buds. The set costs about $69.99 (ear buds and case) for an IPhone 6Plus. I don't get paid anything for telling you this - just in case you think I am saying this for perks. Yet, if you do call and order one, tell them Susan Teton sent you. They have them for all styles of cell phones.

Oh, one more thing, it comes in black and white. I get the white because my car likes to eat my phones. It is easier for me to find. Plus I like white. It is also easy to clean up if it gets a little dirty.

Get one!!!!

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How to Achieve Perfect Health - Bentinho Massaro

Hello everyone! Here is what is alive in me today and most recently. Many of you may know that I have been on a relentless pursuit to get in touch with my stinking thinking, and old beliefs that may be hidden from my immediate operating system. I learned years ago with The Work of Byron Katie, that believing my thoughts created a story that was not necessarily the "truth". From there I attended four Avatar courses, ending with the two week Wizards course. I didn't share this to brag (not that is it brag worthy). I share this to express that for some of us, like me, it is really hard to shake some of the old beliefs and the patterns that molded me over all these years. Every time I find myself upset about "anything", I begin to look deeper.

In the last few months, working with a counselor who specializes in the Course In Miracles, I have found what we call "eggs", that are very old believes that formed an adaptive behavior that I have been practicing for years. Some are so ingrained in me that I did not even notice them until I looked back over years of acting out patterns. The key is to find the originating circumstance that inspired a belief about myself that was not true at all. This is what we call "cracking an egg". From the belief I found I was able to subsequently discover the adaptive behavior I created to either get something or avoid something. This behavior is masqueraded by"just the way I am". Dang!

For instance, I personally don't always act on my own behalf, often finding myself in retrospect that I worked my butt off for someone or something just to help, please or get praise. I found I do this to feel powerful. This seems so trivial to share, but long ago when I was a little girl I got spanked by my Dad. I was probably only two years old. I remember he sat on me and gave me a couple of waps on the butt. I was not physically hurt because he did not hit hard. But he pinned me down. Of course I was a very good little girl, as my Mother reports, so I was completely confused, and felt powerless with this huge person pinning me down. Years later when anyone tried to pin me down or tickle me playfully, I would go insane and almost kill them.  That was easy to notice where it came from, but, the powerlessness was not. It took me years to find that that one little incident created an adaptive behavior to avoid:  not rocking the boat, being a good girl, not getting in trouble. This was the operating system that got me a lot of praises, while I blindly ignored acting in my own best interest just to avoid confrontation. OK, this may be really boring to you, but I thought I should provide some sort of example, even though many of you already know what I am talking about, and have done a lot of inner work.

Then Bentinho Massaro came along, referred by my counselor. This young man is inspiring and teaching generations of people all over the world. He explains "awakening" in a way that I find to be much more powerful than many of our older and current teachers. He is another voice that is trendy, timely and speaks a language that I, and many others I know, can relate to. While his information is right on, many of us still have to "crack some eggs" so that we can free ourselves from old beliefs, and enhance our energetic vibration. If we don't "crack the eggs", we may only be pretending as we effort to enhance our energetic vibration, and become truly happy and fearless in every moment.

So, give him a test drive. I am attaching the lecture about "How To Achieve Perfect Health". In my attempt to let go of all my beliefs about diets, this lecture freed me up a bit, and had me looking even closer at what might still be haunting me. Even though I will always practice a diet that is aligned with the health of Earth's living systems, there are aspects of the confusion about which diet is best, that I am dropping.

There is one more thing I want to say about Bentinho. Since he is young, and speaks a trendy language, he may be a good person to refer to those who will never hear a word you say. You know, like your spouse or kids.

You will find many lectures by him on You Tube, and on his website that bears his name. After you take a ride with him, let me know what you think.

If you want to work with me on how to find some of those beliefs that might be driving you crazy, need to loose weight, get off medications, or just get vibrantly health,  let me know. I would be thrilled to offer you a 30 minute complimentary, no obligation consultation. the best way to schedule a consultation is for you to message me on FB or text or call me on my personal cell phone number: 808-250-1535. Give me a call and let's "crack some eggs". Let's chat about my favorite subject besides good food!

Aloha, Teton

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Why I Do Yoga & Think You Should Too!

Yoga slight back bend

Why You Must Learn and Practice YOGA

(Youthful Opportunities Giving Always)

Let’s talk about movement and yoga. For years I resisted yoga, until I was writing my first book (The Healthy School Lunch Action Guide), while living in Santa Cruz, around 1995. At the time, I was working for EarthSave International, a non-profit organization. We were not getting paid much, if at all at the time, so many gifts came our way from supporters. Kali Ray of TriYoga Studio gifted us full access to her studio, anytime we wanted. Free was enough to motivate me. After a full day of work, my boyfriend and I would ride our bikes across town to the studio. We would settle in the class, practice, and then ride back to our office and work on the book until midnight. If anyone has ever written a book, you know how grueling it can be. It was this year that I learned how energizing yoga was, how settling it was, and how strengthening it was. I was fifty at the time. One day, I stood folding my arms and felt my newly revitalized strong muscles. Wow, I thought! The best part is that is was so enjoyable to do at the studio, to be in a space of soft quiet sounds, with a still body and mind, and with lots of new breath coming in to oxygenate every cell.

Yoga Forward Bend

There is more that I have learned about yoga, over the years. Three years ago, I decided to take a yoga teacher training because, at age sixty-seven, I knew a teacher training would be the only way to kick my butt into gear and establish an imprint for a strong sustaining practice. The training was in Mexico and it was rigorous. I felt like I practically killed myself. Trust me, if it had been closer to home, I might have bolted. But I stayed, and I did build a foundation that has kept me on the mat regularly. In other words, it was worth it!

More recently, I discovered Kundalini Yoga (with Ana Brett and Ravi Singh). I love their DVD workouts, as I do Kali Ray’s and many others’. With Ravi and Ana, I discovered the profound value of practicing yoga to keep the spine and mid-section strong. Here is how I see it, and why I think a yoga practice is a MUST as we age:

1. Everyone’s spine shrinks and, therefore, we get shorter over time. Lifting weights or resistance training is known to create stronger bones. But, think about this. What position is your spine in when you are lifting weights and/or doing some sort of resistance training? Your spine is most likely not elongated, and quite possibly even contracted, during your movements. So, while this movement builds a stronger muscle, and perhaps creates more bone mass, it is doing so while the spine is in the position it has most likely been all day. Gravity always wins, so, over time, compression continues to happen, whether you are walking, stomping, dancing or weight training. A yoga posture is meant to get you into different positions that elongate the spine first, creating new space, then filling the space with breath, and ultimately holding it to create strength. This way the muscle is built while in an elongated position. This practice builds muscle while the spine is lengthened, thereby not only building the strength but also the shape of the muscle. When the spine and the muscle are elongated to a new shape that supports the spine, it will help to hold your spine up while gravity continues to nip at your heels. Yoga is a very smart thing to do to help us counteract the spine’s wanting to collapse. I call it “defying gravity decline.” We will never win, but we can sure stand tall, meanwhile.

2. There is more. When you move in the way described above, you are also delivering fresh, nourishing blood, while strengthening and revitalizing the very core of your body, that houses your vital organs. Your organs need exercise, too. Movement, and the breath that yoga postures inspire, are two of the best ways to give your organs new life.

3. There is even more. When you come to the mat, you come to a new place that is reverent, quiet, focused and sacred. It is the time for you to be with you, and your body, in a collaborative way. You will have to go inside, to listen and to let go. It is gentle, fluid and sensual, while it opens you to new possibilities that will be yours for a lifetime.

 

Yoga Severe Back Bend

 

4. If you get into Yoga it will provide you with the same awakenings any study or practice does. Think of an athlete that finally breaks a record, or a golfer that hits a hole in one. It can be thrilling. Yoga will do this for you "forever". The continual discovery it offers is un-ending. One day, after working on a pose for months, you will suddenly accomplish a new threshold. The opening this provides is nothing short of riveting. The good news is that it never stops. Going further is always available, and if you are anything like me, you might just love the excitement of growing. A yoga practice with consciousness is a never ending treat of discovery that will spill over to all aspects of your life.

Conclusion

I picked out these beautiful sketches, by Dimitar Hristov, that illustrate what I am saying. See how the body is moved to positions that elongate the muscles and the spine. Now, not even I can move like Dimitar’s imagination, but moving in the direction of these postures will provide an opportunity for challenge and results that will matter to you greatly, as you age.

There is nothing pretty about a slumped spine. I see women, putting fillers in their faces, dyeing their hair and getting face-lifts, and they still look old because their spine is weak and curved in the wrong direction. Strong and straight is sexy and beautiful, especially as we age.

So, even if you don’t like yoga, do it anyway! To get started I recommend committing yourself to a practice for thirty days, at least twice a week.  Then, see how you feel. You can get some DVD’s (I love Ravi and Ana’s: www.Raviana.com), or join a nearby studio or gym that has a variety of classes. Go to them. Play. Learn. Feel good. Remember, there are many just like you, and you don’t have to do every posture like the teacher does, or the person in front of you, on the mat. Just rest if you don’t feel like moving. Give yoga a chance, and get the gift that keeps on giving.

If you want to know more, chat with me and explore some areas where you might like to go or grow, please let me know and we can set a time for a complimentary consultation. It would be my pleasure to speak with you. Let me know your contact and time zone. Email me: Susan@ChefTeton.com

How is yoga working for you? Leave a comment and let's discover the gifts and challenges from each other!

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Inspiration - Divine Influence

Inspiration

Divine Influence

 

Inspiration
Divine Influence

In the past six months, I seem to have lost something. What it was, I was not able to describe, until I sat in contemplation over my “70th Birthday,” which was coming soon. Since my birthday falls on the 4th of July, and my Mother always told me that the celebration was just for me, I can’t seem to shake the almighty urge to create something huge, in recognition of living another year. Quite frankly, whatever I do to celebrate never reaches the same magnitude of impression that I got, as a youngster, marveling over the entire world's setting off fireworks, in celebration of little ol' me. I have always lived with the urge to do something great, so as to live up to the world’s expectations.

Since my last two years' travel to California, to care for my Mom (which I fondly call “the years of Mom”), I have not been myself. I've been tired, in grief, and exhausted, in a very deep place inside myself. I lost my motivation, my way, and wondered how I could go on, and what to do next. Since the territory was unfamiliar, I did not know how to proceed. Little physical ailments loomed up in response. I  kept waiting, while searching for a remedy, a food, drink, a pill, a puff, or anything, to lift me up and out into the exuberant woman I had been. One day, while standing wearily in front of my vitamin drawer, pulling out my fix for the day, a little voice said, “You will not fix this by what you put in your mouth.” “Oh, really?” I thought. Well then, what? Of course, I kept trying the oral method, but to no avail. So, I prayed.

One night, while browsing through an “O” magazine, I read an article about a woman who had had a chronic pain in her hip/back. She relentlessly tried everything to alleviate it, short of surgery. Then, someone told her it was all in her head. She didn't like to hear that, but decided to give the prescribed protocol a spin, anyway. She purchased “Mind Body Prescription,” by Dr. John E. Sarno, and began journalling, and following the protocol. Within a few months, she was free of her pain. Whoa! I want that, I thought, and immediately purchased the book. This method would be my way of fixing the physical symptoms that accompanied my emotional pain. While this book and the stories in it helped me to see the connection, little did I know that there would be more benefits.

This was the beginning of my practicing energy medicine. Being a certified practitioner of The Work of Byron Katie, plus an Avatar Wizard graduate, with years of shamanic study, vision quests and meditation, I thought I knew the territory. But, here is the caveat:  all these methods, including eating healthy and exercise, require a continual and steady PRACTICE. When you don’t use it, you lose it.  People everywhere are teaching this, every day. We are learning a new way of being, and it does take practice, particularly as new life experiences arise for us (which will continually happen, if we are alive). OK, this meant me, too.

Getting back to my recent, stagnant state of being, I sat in contemplation of my impending birthday. Did I want a party? No. What did I want? What if I did not celebrate and then felt horribly lonely on the 4th? After all, it is my 70th... Something special should happen, right? I kept sitting and thinking about it. What did I want? What was the single thing I needed most? I continued to ask myself.

Finally, I realized that what I needed in my life now, more than anything, was inspiration. My inspiration was wiped out, gone. How could I get it back? I wondered. Remembering my shamanic days of play, I longed to gather with my girl friends and play games, do ceremonies, sit in council, dance together, make art together. That was it! I would gather twenty amazing women, for a gifting circle. As a gift to me, I would ask them what it was in me that inspired them. Simple. It would not cost them any money, any shopping or wrapping; all they had to do was share the truth of their inspiration.

All of us who have chosen to spend time together, or call another a friend, have a reason to do so. Our friends give us something, something we like, something that adds to our lives, adds to ourselves. Each friend is different, and we are often different with each one. It is an exchange. I knew that through their finding what inspires them in me, they would in turn find it in themselves, and thus, nourish us all.

So, I picked a date a couple days before the 4th, and invited twenty  women, with a very specific set of instructions (a copy of the invitation follows this post). I decided that I did not want a potluck: in exchange for their honoring my request, they would eat a very simple meal that I would prepare for everyone. This was, in part, to alleviate all the mix-ups of varieties of food, and people's asking a million questions when they arrive, like, “Do you have a serving dish for this?,” “Can I warm this?,” “I need a big bowl,” etc. That drives me nuts!

On the day of the 2nd, I hired a housekeeper/kitchen assistant, and began making the food: chick pea-veggie curry, dhal, rice, and a huge green salad. My friend made a delicious carrot cake, another  brought mango sorbet, and another, several bottles of kombucha. Each one brought her own bubbly.

Next, I moved the furniture, so we had plenty of room to circle up on the floor. I asked everyone to bring her favorite cushion to sit on (or a beach chair, if sitting on the floor was uncomfortable). I put candles and flowers everywhere. I had a friend in charge of greeting, at the front door. She gave everyone a nametag, as there were guests who did not know each other.

As you will note from the invitation, I asked everyone to dress in whatever expressed her most authentic self, and to bring a small gift of something that had meaning to her (perhaps something she already owned, or had made). All of the attending sisters' names went into a little basket, and each would pick a name when she arrived, but they were not to tell anyone whose name she picked. Once she had her name, she could seek out the person and get to know her (without telling, of course).

I opened the circle, explaining to everyone that I had lost my way a bit, that I needed inspiration. I shared that when we find something wonderful in someone else, that it is also alive in us. By sharing with each other what we inspire in each other, we strengthen our tribe and build confidence. This was my purpose. I wanted the amazing women I know, to know each other. Of course, some of them already did, but some did not. A thriving community is built out of confident and inspired people. Even though I saw some of these women only once a year or so, I would greet each one, knowing she was my sister. So, I was confident that these women all held a valued thread of integrity. Besides, we all live on a relatively small island.

Although I can't explain the magnitude and richness of the sweet nectar that came out of this experience for us all, I can tell you that I am transformed. During the second round, after everyone explained what and why she was wearing, and we laughed and giggled at our uniqueness, I opened myself and heart to receive each sister’s gift of inspiration. It was not easy, at first, to receive. It was not even easy to ask. But, I knew that I must get my inspiration from those I live around; this is what a healthy tribe does. Each person has a significant role that only she can play, with her unique gifts. What were mine?

The beauty of this is that, when the words of inspiration were released and hit the air, the entire circle received them. By my asking, they gave. When we give, we receive. It's the way it works. Next, each woman had a chance to gift the person whose name she picked with the gift she had brought. What transpired from that exchange was nothing short of magical. The room was filled with open hearts, love, and abundant inspiration.

When I looked up “inspiration” in the dictionary, I found the definition of “divine influence.” Now, I understand why my healing could not take place through what I put in my mouth. It could only take place through what I put in my soul.  I found that inspiration could carry me with strength, purpose and stamina. It is moving the spirit through me now, with renewed enthusiasm and creativity. I am seeing, now, that if we are inspired, we will most likely gain confidence, which means we will give our unique gifts, and, thus inspire a more confident tribe and stronger community. Mahalo to those who planted the seed of inspiration, this divine influence, in me.  I am so very grateful.

A birthday is a perfect time for a re-set, and a good time to let your tribe nourish you with their divinity. Let it be so. 

Invitation

Come on to my house, my house come on,

I am going to give you everything!!!

Teton @ The Front Door

 

 

Come celebrate my 70th Birthday!

 

July 3rd 5:00 PM @ Susan Teton’s home at:

 

My birthday is on the 4th of July, but we will be gathering on the 2nd to celebrate by joining together for a special “Circle of Inspiration”.

 

For my birthday I am opening myself to receive the acknowledgement of what I inspire in you. You may also have the opportunity to share how another inspires you. By holding space and acknowledging the inspiration in each other we give it back to ourselves. Let’s expand by being together and gifting each other with what we see and feel. Each of sees in our own unique way, and by sharing and honoring our uniqueness we expand it. This will be an honoring celebration for each other, not to mention some intimate fun.

Here is what I would like you to bring:

 

1.     You, dressed in whatever expresses a part of yourself that makes you feel like your most authentic self, or a part of yourself that inspires you, or perhaps that you want to aspire toward. Of course, wear whatever you want, but if you can put thought into this aspect of yourself it would be fun as we gather to share what inspires us in each other.

2.     Please bring a gift, something that is already yours, that has a special meaning to you that you would like to pass on to another sister (you will find out who that is when you get here). Of course, it must be something you can part with, but part with in a way that brings you joy to give to someone else. It may have special meaning or “medicine” that you will be able to pass on. It need not be expensive or big, just something with some meaning to you. Please just wrap it in a cloth that you can take home. We want to be light on the planet and our pocket books by keeping it simple.

3.     No need to bring me birthday gifts.

4.     I will be serving some food and a lovely green salad. If you are so inspired to bring food, call me first and we can plan. But, please do not feel that need. It will be my pleasure to serve you.  

5.     Our gathering: When you arrive, you will pull a sister’s name from a bowl. Please do not tell anyone whose name you have. Keep it a secret until it is your turn to share. Your job will be to notice her, to track her and find something in her that inspires you.

6.     We should be done with the ceremony and playtime by about 8. Then we can hang out and drink champagne; wine, kombucha, tea or whatever turns you on. We can dance, laugh, share, swim and just enjoy being together.

7.     Please RSVP by emailing: Susan@ChefTeton.com

Oh My God, I am so excited to be 70! Lordy Mercy!!

You? What do you need?  How do you like to spend your Birthday? Make a comment below and we can all celebrate!

 

 

Susan Teton

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One Way To Steward "My Girl"

Chef Susan Teton Campbell

One day, while taking a walk I thought about how I consider my body. I call her "my girl". I sat down and out came "My Girl" a little narrative. Maybe you can relate. If so, I would love to hear how you think of your girl or guy!

My Girl

Through a lifetime of study I am with myself in a way that is more aware than I was when I was young. It seems I constantly open and expand. It is like there are two of me now. The one doing, acting - the body; and then there is me the observer – the one steering me. Sometimes that part of me steering me is asleep and my body just moves – and then there are times I am acutely awake watching me – my body. Can you believe that sometimes we fight – or argue – negotiate for the actual play out of the entire day, an hour or a minute?

I care about her, this vessel I live in – she is My Girl. She carries me through the day. She takes walks, swims and dances for me. She eats for me, expresses me in all ways. Without her I would just be a mind with wishes and longings. But with her I get to explore, I get to feel, I get to see and smell, and chew and swallow, and dance and play. I get to feel life move through me. I get to feel the Earth move through me: the air, the water and the soil. With her I get to feel, to laugh and cry. I get to watch movies. I get to drive my cool car and hang out with my friends. I get to clean and take care of my house too. I get to dress her, groom her, make her pretty. I get to say who touches her. I get to touch her. I get to touch others. She is not me. She is My Girl. She is mine to live in. How she functions determines how I get to live, what I get to do while I am living here on Earth.

I love taking My Girl for walks because I love nature. I love moving and seeing beauty. I love to hear too; music, inspirational talks, stories from my friends and the sounds of birds in the morning. I love putting her to bed at night when she is exhausted. Sometimes it can be a chore to brush My Girls teeth and wash her face when she is tired. She does not want to move anymore than I want to make her. Sometimes I am tired too – tired of steering her, feeding, motivating, and managing her.

This is our one opportunity and she has been bestowed to me to live here for a limited time on the Earth. I continually have many decisions to make about how to care for My Girl. New information is always pouring in and I keep searching for better ways to live and experience this life she and I have been given.

One day, during our exploration, My Girl and I were awakened profoundly.

In a flash, all of a sudden, I could see more about how My Girl was not just living on top of the Earth, but that she was connected to the Earth. I saw how she was and is part of the Earth. Now I was able to see and feel how I live with My Girl and the Earth together. No wonder I loved the Earth so much. She, the Earth, is also I and My Girl's life source. Now I could see how My Girl breathed her, was watered and fed by her. I started to see what My Girl did that had an impact on the Earth. Now I could see how I had to motivate and steer My Girl in ways that would care and steward the Earth as well. Oh gosh, now I had an even bigger challenge in stewarding my My Girl, but it was worth it. My Girls life and me were enriched by this awareness. 

Knowing how the Earth works actually helped me to see how My Girl works-both of us a living ecosystem. I am not sure why I didn’t see that earlier in My Girl’s life, and me because it is quite obvious, but I didn’t. As a matter of fact, I did not see a lot of things. As time goes on I continue to see more.

I have found that I can ask to see. The request to see is not visual. All I have to do is open My Girls eyes and heart to see that way. I am talking about seeing more of life, hearing from the great mystery, the place my soul communicates with to obtain a larger perspective. It’s like the me that is moving My Girl’s fingers right now lives somewhere else in addition to inside My Girl. When I go to that place, there is space and more voices to communicate with. Perhaps it is God, my angels or my higher power. Those are the names the humans give the mystery voice – our source – and our inner guidance. When I touch in this space – real close and quiet, I feel love.

I am in love with this experience and with My Girl. I truly love her and am grateful for her.  I enjoy taking care of her. She serves me so I do my best to serve her.  Because.

She is My Girl.

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Can We Program Our Body?

Can we program our bodies with our thoughts? I think so. But, do we know how, and are we good at it? Here is something that just happened to me that woke me up big time.

I have this vein in the back of my left calf muscle that is protruding out a bit. Now and then it aches. A couple of weeks ago it started throbbing with enough pain to get my attention. This happened during a couple weeks of being quite tired and overwhelmed with all the pressures that I (and the IRS) put on myself. I hate to admit it, but I was not a happy camper.

Since I am not medically savvy, only seeing my doc once a year, I was clueless to the potential effects of a blood clot in the legs. So, last Saturday, at the urge of a few friends, I packed up to spend the day in the ER to have the vein checked for a potential clot. I took my journal, a new book titled “The Mindbody Prescription”, my IPad and some nibbles. I was prepared for what could be hours of waiting, tests, etc.

Well, I am embarrassed to say again that it was one of the best days I had this month. Not the most fun, but the most peaceful. I was relaxed with nothing to do but read, write and Google while someone took complete care of me. Doing this was so much simpler than going to my doctor and then being referred to several other doctors, making appointments and traveling to various labs for tests. It was a one shot diagnosis. Worked for me.

Anyway, long day short, and after numerous test and lots of blood drawn, the doctors last words to me were, “You are as healthy as a horse”.  “Well, then why am I having this throbbing pain in my calf and what is this bump?” I asked. His answer was so vague that all I can remember is the word "inflammation". Of course, he did not really know. But, I was satisfied. I know all disease starts with inflammation, and that I had something that was starting, yet nameless now. Since I had been reading my new book for a couple hours, and beginning to journal my subconscious crap out of me, I became acutely aware of my negative thinking. I knew I had some inner work to do and that there was something else causing this inflammation.

That evening while flat on my back on my yoga mat I took a good look at my legs as they were raised in the air above me. I suddenly realized how many times I had said inside my mind “I can’t stand it”. OMG! When my little mind said this over and over again throughout the days it was referring to all the “stuff” I had to do. I also kept saying, “It is just too much”. Now then, think about this. I was continually saying over and over the aspects of my life were too much and that I can’t stand it anymore”. This is so untrue really, but I was saying it and creating proof of it in my body. When I gazed up at my legs and realized this I was horrified and regretful. It was in this moment that I apologized profusely to my body and legs. I pledged in that moment to begin to praise my body and continue with my read and study of the Mindbody Prescription by Dr. John E. Sarno, which I highly recommend and can comment more on as I read on. 

Upon completion of my yoga routine I wrote out a new pledge of praise to my body as I give her gratitude, and hopefully program her to greater vitality by praising her. If I can create sickness, injury or breakdown through negative thinking, what I can create out of praise?

 She Is Such A Good Girl” is what came out of me next. It is kind of silly, but fun. You might want to write praise for your own body. Give him or her what she deserves and praise on!

Give Your Body Praise

My Girl is such a good Girl. She sleeps beautifully each night while she restores and rejuvenates herself. She wakes refreshed and inspired for each day. While she sleeps she has awesome dreams, enlightening she and I about how to grow and live our life joyfully in service, and with fearless focus.

She has inspiration to do the things she must to steward herself, to show up for her family, friends and community.  She has the discipline to work diligently and rest when needed. She is such a good Girl.

She is grateful and happy for the opportunity to live here on Earth with me, her soul. She helps me become inspired and excited about the possibilities for expression, achievement and pleasure. She serves me, so I serve her.

She teaches me by letting me know when something is not right within me, whether it is my thinking or action. She will give me a nudge of pain or discomfort, her way of saying, “ouch” or “wake up and pay attention” when I am misbehaving. She likes it when I acknowledge her and honor her for her service to me.  She lets me know when I am treating her well. She treats me well in return. She is such a good Girl.

Her digestive system works perfectly. It absorbs all the nutrients it needs and flows gently, cleansing her of all the toxins and old debris as needed.  All of her cells continue to brim with renewed life. Her bones continue to build strong and her muscles strengthen while her connective tissues, tendons, hair and nails continue to grow with luster. Her organs are doing their job beautifully, working together creating a synergy that we all still marvel over.

Fortunately she has great eyesight, which improves daily along with her hearing. She gives me the ability to listen inside and out. No matter how many times she has traveled around the sun she often provides youthful radiance beaming from her aura. For this I am grateful. I would be lost without her. She would be lost without me.  Her system, which is magical beyond belief keeps me vibrant and alive. She is such a good Girl.

She is beautiful, healthy, happy and fulfilled. She is such a good Girl. 

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Mom Goes To Heaven - I Come Home

Aloha Readers,

Mom

In late October, my Mom had another stroke – this one more serious putting her into a rehab facility and ultimately her home. Next came hospice and a new experience for my family and me. Then she went to heaven in mid January. Some of you have followed my journey. If you are interested here are a few of my FB posts, which tell just a little about my experience followed by a journal entry of my surprise experience when I returned home.

Mid December 2014 - FB Post

Still in California. Here is the deal. It seems once someone goes on Hospice care the drugs begin floating in like a damn that broke. Right off the bat Lorizepam, Risperidone and Morphine were prescribed for my Mom. Oh, let’s not forget a 10 mg Ambien for sleep and her usual four Vicodin a day. Now here is a 115 lb. woman who hardly eats, does not have cancer and therefor not much pain. Her suffering and decline are due to a stroke, advanced dementia and all that goes with being down. The drug situation has been a merry go round as Mom tries to crawl out of her skin at times. She has been restless, agitated, constipated and extremely unhappy.
 

One night we had such a challenge getting her to a peaceful state that I asked the nurse, “Why don’t we give her Heroin? I was being a wee bit sarcastic, but they do say it makes you feel awesome, better than Morphine even though they are very similar. Since addiction is not a threat here, why not? Or how about some medical marijuana (MM) butter?” The nurse looked at me slightly frightened. “I suppose MM butter would be OK, but I can’t get it for you”, she finally said.

I began to research how to add it to the pharmaceutical soup while deleting some of the culprits. We licensed up and prepared some tasty applesauce butter. Within 4 days Morphine was eliminated. Lorizepam still lingers now and then, while a Vicodin patch remains. Mom eats a little now, smiles and poops, and with a glow on her skin she sleeps beautifully. Yes! We are still experimenting as life changes for her daily. If anyone has had experience mixing MM with the pharmaceutical soup please let me know. Woohoo!

Holiday Time December 2014 - FB Post

Mom at her 90th birthday

Here is Mom on her 90th birthday party mid April 2014. That was just 9 months ago. She still now holds on to the sweet breath of life as she visibly disappears. After some studies on life and death, and other consciousness enlightening trainings, (which Maui is so rich with) I thought it would be an honor to see someone pass through the veil of life. I was boldly ready. And, it is, but I must say that I did not expect the constant flow of varied and tender emotions that leave me in a state of awe, grace and grief while also becoming acutely aware that I too may experience this one day. What a mystery we are living. Mahalo to all those who call and write with love and support. Sending gratitude and blessings to all. Susan

January 14, 2015 - The Morning After - FB Post

What's alive in me this morning is my Mom's last breath last night. RIP Charlene Corning, Mom. She passed through the veil peacefully surrounded by family and friends in her cherished living room. Mahalo to all those who supported her, and our family with so much love, showing up fully as the eldest of our tribe completed her role here. Mom, you were one of a kind that we shall all cherish knowing. I am a grateful daughter.

Mom when she was a young woman

 

January 14, 2014 - A personal recap for family members

Good Morning Family Members

I wanted to give you a glimpse into Mom's passing last night. I hope that is OK.

She rested peacefully all day and into the evening with daughters and friends around her. Of course, she looked beautiful with radiant color in her face - not a wrinkle to be found.

I lay with her for quite a long time. When she took her last few breaths, lipstick on, I held one of her hands and Cindy held the other. She was very peaceful. Cindy, my friend Patty and her husband Tom, were there visiting quietly in the candle lit living room. She loved both of them and of course, they her. When she decided to go she let us know instantly and we accompanied her gently through her last breath. Patricia and Louie showed up a few minutes later along with Chan. Sharon had been there earlier but had already tucked herself in at home. 

We prayed over her and the Catholics among us anointed her with holy water. Other family members of Patricia's  showed up soon and we held a prayer circle around her. We visited, told stories, laughed and mourned deeply well into the night. Chan went over to Fresh & Easy and got us a frozen pizza. Patty had brought salmon, cheese and crackers. I made coffee and opened one of Mom’s cheap champagnes. We nibbled a bit. The champagne was horrible.

As the candles burned low, those from UC Irvine came around midnight and escorted her out. We were all so grateful that no one was around to see her final exit from the home she loved. It was as private as it could be. When we walked back to her patio from the parking lot, the light above her patio blinked off and then on again.

We are all staying home today and resting.  I am profoundly touched as many of us are. Mom was more than special. God bless. Thank you for being you and to everyone who reads this.  Love, Susan

March 1, 2015 - My Journal of Coming Home - Stress Needs More Than Good Food

When I returned home after my Mom’s passing I was more than exhausted. Every bit of myself had been used up, and I was at a loss for what to do with myself. Of course I had high ideals. I knew there was a new beginning in me that did not need to worry about Mom anymore, field phone calls, talk to doctors and make vital decisions with my siblings. I was going to have new space. I could catch up on my work and begin to live out some of my own dreams. Of course I was going to miss Mom and mourn the loss, but I knew she lived a good life and was taken care of beautifully before she passed. There would be fresh air to breath in my life. This is what my mind told me.

Then I hit the wall. My body went into some kind of shock while it finally let down its defense’s and began to rest and grieve. I was so out of balance that I did not know what to do to get in balance. I felt I needed something but did not know what. My heart ached like it had not for years. I began by addressing the body, my best skill. I started by alleviating all sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and sleeping aides, all of which helped me while in California to travel from bed to bed, rent cars, drive on late night freeways, eat food I did not care for and keep myself up when I wanted to fall. I was too wrapped up in the part, and the story that was playing out to stop. I just kept moving. Now it was over.

The cleansing helped, yet a bit brutal, along with long hours of sleep. But I needed more. What did I need? I was bouncing against the walls helplessly roaming about the house like a lost child. The people I live with along with my close friends hardly said much to me when I returned home. “What’s going on?” I thought. When people close to you die, don’t friends and neighbors bring you pies and casseroles? Where are mine? I want a pie. No one came. OK, I understood. Perhaps it was not meaningful to them in the same way as it was for me, or they wanted to leave me alone. I tried bags of chips while trying to work at my computer only to pass the time unfocused. I cried relentlessly every day, playing over the circumstances of Mom’s passing. I missed her terribly. I was blown away by the first transition I had ever experienced. My mind watched her disappear before my very eyes over and over. It was hard but I just kept going. I prayed for help. "What do I need", I kept asking myself. I need something.

Then it finally came a week and a half later. My next-door neighbor, who has a huge heart, sent me a text to ask if she could come over for a quick visit, that she had something for me. Oh goodie, I thought. She came in a hurry as her kids were waiting for her in the car. She placed a beautiful orchid on the counter with a card, a fresh bowl of chili, and a jar of soup she made the night before. Yeah, finally! I got some attention.  It was not a pie, but I was excited. It felt good. As she lowered the items to the counter, her hands now empty, she reached out to me with her arms and heart opened wide, looking me straight in the eye with such compassion, she said, “It must be so hard.” She hugged me tenderly like a Mom might. That was what I needed, a hug of loving compassionate sympathy, and someone meeting me in my pain.

Perhaps you know of someone who has lost someone, or perhaps you are in pain yourself. Being able to express it and have people meet you there in the depth of compassion is so healing. There is something about that union that helps to transform the grief and move it through. The pain comes again, but I think it helps to begin the journey. Now, when I feel sad and go to that deep place of mourning, I remember her words and the feeling of her meeting me. It allows me to say, “Yes, it is hard and that is OK. It is life”. Meeting it in myself helps me to greet it head on, feel it and move it through. This attitude is playing a significant part in my healing.

Being in emotional pain is very stressful on the body as I am finding out. My system has surely wobbled as my emotions have. When the emotional body hurts then the physical body hurts too. If you are having any kind of experience that is emotionally challenging I think it is vital that you take impeccable care of yourself and do something nurturing as often as possible, because it will take a toll. I am learning this and hope that my sharing will help awaken you to meet others in their time of grief without fear. Being there for each other is vital to our healing.

 Every day I feel better and better, yet I still might love to get a pie.

 

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Kundalini Yoga with Ravi Singh & Ana Britt

#2 in My Favorite Things Series, From Seed to Soul.

 

ana brett

Ravi Singh and Ana Britt have changed my life for the better.Many of you know that I earned my yoga teacher certification two years ago. I am in love with yoga, no doubt about it. But, I did not fall in love as much then as I have in the last several months with Kundalini Yoga. Not just any Kundalini Yoga, mind you, the yoga DVD's by Ana and Ravi.

Visit their website and get turned on too: www.Raviana.com

Kundalini yoga has different moves than traditional yoga or yoga poses that you might be familiar with or seen in the media more predominantly. Sometimes I wonder, "Where the heck did they get this move from?" Each are unique. Some feel so weird at first. The movement is easy, relaxed and constant rather than static. Perhaps this is what I like as it is hard to hold me still.

Ravi has this special talent of saying just the right thing at the right time, empowering me through my life. And, Ana, well she is such a pleasure to watch. She is adorable as well as a great model to workout with. I find these DVD's to be timed and paced perfectly. The music is also awesome. My spine is awakened, my breath expanded, my energy renewed and my soul recharged from the time I spend on the mat with them.

Check out their website and begin. Here are a few of my favorite titles: A Journey Through the Chakras, Bliss Hips, AM-PM Yoga, and Yoga for Beginners and Beyond. All offer a unique workout and many offer you the ability to choose your own matrix or workout sequence.

The bottom line is that these DVD's do more for me than any workout because they empower me in life in all ways. The sayings that go along with the fabulous music rock my soul and take me to a deeper place. Seriously, working out with them is one of my favorite things to do everyday. I love these DVD's and Ravi and Ana.

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Introduction To: A Journey From Seed to Soul

What’s the Journey?

chef teton, aged 69, in great shape! Her essential cuisine program

The journey is your life.

From the tiny seed that my mother produced and my father made fertile came the embryo that gave rise to me. Although I have been told that my parents union was my beginning, I celebrate my birth on the day that I slid out of my mother’s safe warm womb and took my first breath. When I filled my lungs with oxygen I shifted my dependence from my Mother’s support system and joined her in our mutual dependence on Mother Earth. Together, we are still in a womb.

We humans, like all propagating seeds of life, require fertilization or pollination depending on the source, to claim our identity and form the being we are destined to be. Even though we are programmed with our own unique physiological design, personality and soul, we share a common home that binds us to our womb – the Earth – the life support we are dependent on for our oxygen, water and food. Much like the tree, the flower or the fruit, our life’s journey depends heavily on the Grace of God, our Creator, along with many diverse biological and communal influences.

Like a mighty team we are honored with the ultimate purpose, and that is to live and work together to steward our treasures: the body that houses our soul, and our larger body, the Earth that houses our community and provides us the air, water and soil that nourishes us and gives us life.

Our journey in the lifetime that we currently all know together is awakening us to the profound role of the Earth as we connect to her more deeply and understand that she is a living breathing system much like us. We are learning now that our actions, blind to us in the past, are causing pollution that not only threatens our body’s lives directly, but also threatens the Earth’s living systems that we depend on for life itself. As a result of this awakening we are paving a new path of industrial and agricultural production while also waking up to the fact that our thoughts can be as powerful as our actions. And, in this same paradigm awakening we seem to have an enormous appetite to touch our spiritual realm and find a greater purpose to our lives.

I personally held an intense appetite to touch my inner life more intimately, to know the inspiration that came from the light, the voices that came in the dark, and how to find meaning out of daily activities and relationships. Although I am fed daily, my appetite still rages. For this I am eternally grateful and offer my story of awakening – all through food.

 Introduction

A Journey From Seed to Soul

by

Susan Teton Campbell

Do you want to look more beautiful and have more energy and mental focus? Are you concerned about acquiring debilitating diseases or exacerbating one that already ails you? Are you overweight and hate it? Do your joints hurt? Is your digestion slower than you would like it to be? Are you exasperated at what to feed your children? Do you long to feel more connected to your world and live your life with meaningful purpose? Would you love more creativity in your life and more fulfilling sensual experiences?

 Essential Cuisine: A Culinary Adventure from Seed to Soul

 I’ve answered each of these questions at one time or another with a resounding, and often difficult, “yes”.  But my long journey toward discovering answers that evolved from my own setbacks and suffering; from worrying about the health of my son; and from the frustrations and accomplishments that evolved around the important changes I wanted to effect in the world, finally led me to the freedom, comfort and joy revealed in a simple and deeply spiritual solution:  Essential Cuisine Culinary Practice.

Notice that I am not calling Essential Cuisine a “diet”. Essential Cuisine is rather a Practice – a way of life – with nourishment, flavor, respect for the Earth, and health and vitality as the essential ingredients. Essential Cuisine is a dietary practice that is as much an inner practice as a daily action. It is a practice that awakened me to the power of food and introduced to me a wonderful new way to connect to the larger purpose behind my life. Inspired by the strongest force in the universe, love, I learned to become an impeccable steward of my own body and my future.  My hope is that Essential Cuisine will do the same for you.

Healthy food can no longer be a temporary “diet” to just lose weight, or cleanse our bodies, or heal a sickness. It can no longer be the occasional meal at the health food restaurant, or meal-for-a-day when on a diet. Now, like exercising or yoga, healthful, nourishing foods must be integrated into our lives as a practice – a daily discipline that requires focus, innovation, quality, convenience and consistency – a daily discipline that is fueled by respect. Healthy meals are essential to the new way of life that is calling us home to the table.

The journey that brought me home to my own table came in an answer to a question. Before I woke up to see this magnificent world and its web of connection, I asked myself one night, “Surely, there must be more to life than this?” “Please show me,” I implored.

Essential from the Inside Out

 My answer came through a journey that gave rise to the person that I am today. This journey gave rise to the principles of Essential Cuisine – a practice that profoundly connects me to my body, my soul, my consciousness, my will, my inspiration and the larger community in which I thrive. The steps I took to create this unique cuisine are as much a part of the ingredient list for Essential Cuisine as the coconut oil and flax seeds. Eliminate any one of the experiences that led me to creating Essential Cuisine: learning how food could alter or even eradicate some of my son Jason’s allergies and behavior problems; becoming a strong advocate for healthier school lunches through my work with EarthSave International; initiating my own organization, Spirit In Action, to help reshape a responsible dietary future; trekking across South Dakota’s Black Hills to spread a message of hope and healing through healthier food choices; realizing how my own food choices impacted my own health and vitality at certain times in my life, especially throughout menopause; and like leaving the pumpkin out of the pumpkin seed oil, you’d have a completely different result and flavor.

Understanding the long journey it takes to bring food to our table is what awakened me to realize that the quality of my food choices must align with the quality I aspire to create for my own life. On a physical-body level, it includes my physical vitality and energy, my emotional state, my clarity of thought, and let’s not forget vanity – how I look and present myself to the world.

On this journey many hands bring our food to the table and our ecosystems are dramatically affected by the diverse growing and production methods, so my choices also include how I want to participate with my fellow humans and other life forms on Earth, and what kind of future I am creating with the choices I make today. Acting in alignment with the health of the whole feels right. Accepting responsibility for the health of the environment and future generations brings a heightened devotion to stewardship, which is a part of my own spiritual practice.

Perhaps you find all of this to be a stretch of your imagination. If you’re at all like I used to be, some of these concepts may seem a little removed from your daily lives. But I assure you that the work you do to recognize the source and interconnectedness of our bio systems and how we must function within them, you will birth a journey toward an inspired relationship, attitude or state of being that connects you to your larger world with an open heart and respect for the opportunity to live this magnificent experience called life. It is from this state of respect and gratitude that an authentic level of stewardship for this precious gift given to you will be birthed.

The Seedling Sprouts:

”My Journey To Became a Foodie”

 Dieting was my first conscious relationship with what I ate and how food affected my body’s size.  God forbid, I should ever get fat. I often remarked to friends, “It’s a good thing I am vain, as it keeps me fairly healthy.” Little did I know then that food could satisfy vanity’s appetite way beyond my body weight. At age 24, I kept my weight gain at the recommended 20 pounds during my pregnancy and was back in my bikini within 6 weeks after giving birth.  Even so, it took many more years for me to discover that certain foods could actually reverse the signs of aging, create glowing skin, increase joint flexibility, promote a flowing digestive system, all the while providing me with a spiritual buffet of meaning and service.

As a mom to a young boy with allergies, I found that food also played a huge role in my son’s health, holding the key to his drippy nose, itchy eyes, and his ability to focus.  As a young mother, wife and working woman, I dieted again and again, and then I too became ill. I often turned to medicine for answers; however, I typically found more answers in the foods I consumed, only to throw caution to the wind and relax back into what was convenient and popular with my current lifestyle. In my late 40’s I made a radical shift to a raw ‘living’ food diet and maintained that diet for 2 years. The education that fueled this radical shift is what catapulted me into a new culinary awakening and life purpose – which was all about food. Lucky me.

The more I prepared living foods, learned the value of cultured foods, and began incorporating a broader variety of whole cooked foods into my daily regimen, the more my body changed, and my world as I knew it – especially around food – changed radically and profoundly. For the first time in my life, I felt connected – to food, to my body, and to nature and the Earth. For the first time in my life, I was satisfied after meals! Cravings were gone. Any excess weight fell off my body with virtually no effort. People commented that I looked years younger. The best part was that I was in love with my own body, life and lifestyle.

My dieting days were over. Denial gave way to pleasure. Control gave way to freedom. Vanity gave way to grace. Confusion and deprivation around “fattening” foods gave way to a sense of abundance that revolved around vital and rich foods that came directly from the Earth. Eating became a nourishing pleasure at every meal, and I began honoring my body for the sacred gift it gave me to live this life.

Growing The Human Garden

 During the mid 90’s I birthed a new career in what I now fondly call ‘foodie activism’. I joined EarthSave International, founded by author, John Robbins (Diet For A New America and Healthy at 100), to head up a program to get healthier foods in our nation’s schools. My newfound purpose had manifested into a great job and I was thrilled to be a part of such a powerful and worthy project.

During my 6-year tenure with Robbins and a team of committed health and environmental professionals, I learned even more about the profound effect of our individual and collective food choices. I came to understand how our current industrial food production contributes significantly to global warming, ground water pollution, deforestation, top soil depletion, and desertification, while depositing poisonous, life-altering chemicals into our air, water and soil. This is due mostly to conventional animal and chemical agricultural practices. When I saw how our government policies, school lunch menus, and corporate marketing contributed to the rising epidemic of life-threatening diseases for our youth and their parents, I was shocked. As I looked toward our future, I saw trouble.

I saw trouble because I had been living the hell of single parenting a drug addict. My son, a sensitive soul who I nursed through childhood allergies, was driven to drug addiction through much of his adolescent and adult life. I was obsessed to find answers since conventional drug rehabilitation did little to heal his ravaged body and soul, and restore his physiology and sanity.

Surrounded by health professionals in my new job I found answers through studies and case histories that proved the pivotal role food plays in addiction and recovery of any kind. My mission to save him failed until his personal loss became great enough to fuel his own recovery. His ravaged soul healed with time, his body healed through food.

Before me time and again was evidence of the role food and nutrition played in metal, physical and emotion health and how it could dramatically impact our society as a whole.  It took years, as my son matured and my knowledge grew, for me to see the connection to poor childhood nutrition and drug addiction, illiteracy, and mental and emotional problems. Now, with wisdom from the past, we can stand back with a broad vision, connect the dots and see how our lifestyle created our present state of affairs and will continue to affect our collective future if we do not make changes.

Knowing how our food choices hold one of the largest keys to personal and environmental sustainability I became even more committed to inspiring people to connect to the consequences of their food choices beyond their own taste buds, body and local grocer.

My Life Purpose: Journey Into Earth–Body Ecology

As I immersed myself in a new food culture, I found profound differences in the mental and emotional state of those who embraced a whole food diet. Those people who connected to the larger role food plays lived a lifestyle laced with intimate connections, harmonious relationships and healthy bodies. Their lives were filled with more joy, success and peace of mind than those disconnected from the source of their food. This realization surfaced so powerfully that it became the theme of my work and developed into a curriculum called Earth-Body Ecology.

The curriculum of Earth Body Ecology treats the human body as an ecosystem like the Earth, where all functions depend upon one another and work together to sustain overall health. There is little difference between the state of the air, water and soil of Earth and the condition of the breath, blood and tissue of our own bodies. Earth’s oceans and waterways contain some of the same elements as the blood flowing through our arteries and veins. About 70 percent of the Earth is salt water, as is the composition of the human body.

With my new awareness of how our Earth’s bio systems tick, and how they mirror our own body’s systems, I moved to a deeper level of stewardship and profound intimacy with food that far surpassed the vanity I once could relate to. I could see how we as a culture needed to connect to fundamental humility of our bodies and the role the environment plays in our lives.

Hard to relate to? It was for me at first. But the more I learned the more something clicked inside of me… and then I got it: what we do to the Earth we do to ourselves. Likewise, what we do to ourselves we do to the Earth.

The bounty of foods, grown organically from a healthy Earth, holds the key to an agricultural practice and culinary lifestyle that will fuel us to thrive. Foods eaten from the Earth with little or no processing are what nourish us, heal us and please us the most. The Earth gives us everything we need if she has clean water, rich soil and a respectful farmer. Chemical agriculture, along with the factory and fast foods we continuously ingest are the culprits wreaking so much havoc within our health care system and causing insurmountable diseases and addictions within our bodies.  That’s not all. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is responsible for depriving us of a priceless commodity, the potential held in each one of the unique seeds housed within our individual souls.

Connecting the Pieces – The Kids Got It!

 With my first book, the Healthy School Lunch Action Guide, I traveled endlessly to schools across the country, educating students, parents and school administrators about the profound affect our food choices have, both physically and environmentally. Our goal was to inspire food service directors to make a plant based meal option, and for students to actually choose them! I mean really, how can we expect kids to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole foods if we don’t serve it to them?

School Food Service Directors defended their food telling us that when they made healthier options the kids would not eat them. We said, let us talk to them. Using the Earth-Body curricula that taught about food in the larger societal and agricultural context we found kids to be motivated to choose the healthier choices. They cared about the environment, and caring for it through their food choices made more sense to them than the study of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Even though we inspired the students, school economic infrastructures and corporate interventions hindered the changes needed to create change with consistency and staying power.

The demands of constant travel and lecturing were strenuous. In addition I carried around the heartbreak of a son in trouble. I drove myself hard wanting to help parents see the connection to their children’s health in their formative years through teen development.  I had to keep myself fueled and I needed to keep it simple. It was also important for me to practice what I preached, so I got creative and learned to prepare the foods I loved – easily and simply. As a result, my culinary skills blossomed.

Let’s Talk Food

During those years I was a vegetarian. “But you look so healthy for a vegetarian,” people often remarked. You see, at the time many vegetarians looked either washed-out and malnourished, or washed-out and heavy, more like fat. Like other American’s, many vegetarians sought to practice a low-fat diet and dined on lots of starchy, factory-processed foods. I would answer people by saying, “It’s because of the oils.” Basically, I was referring to the ‘good fats I was using from carefully milled, cold-pressed organic oils rich in Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) and high quality saturated fats.

Among other things, EFA’s like Omega 3’s, promote radiant skin and hair, strong nails, a sharp mind and emotional stability. I relished meals of avocados, nuts and seeds, garnished with high quality olive and flax oil, coconut and pumpkin seed oils and butters.  I also dined on tons of veggies, whole grains and legumes, but I credit all those ‘healthy’ fats with creating my healthy glow, as well as making all my veggie dishes spectacular.

I was enjoying a combination of organic raw and cooked foods from the Earth while I bypassed what I call the pseudofoods from the factory – nutritionally devoid foods that are over-processed and over-valued by our society.

Of course, the next question was, ”But how do you do it?” What was a simple dish for me – steamed Swiss chard topped with ground sesame seeds, a little tamari and flax seed oil – was an inspiration to others. Gradually, what began as a survival skill for me became a gourmet gift that people came to crave.

Following my tenure with EarthSave, I began preparing recipes for celebrity retreats. People raved about the food, saying, “I’ve never eaten such fresh, rich and satisfying food”. They told me it was the first time they enjoyed eating vegetables, and it was all because of those tasty sauces and great dressings from the sensual fats and oils. They filled their plates high and told me they never felt stuffed. They commented that their digestion improved. No one gained weight; those who needed to lose weight dropped the pounds, just as I had.

What’s in that dressing?” They demanded to know. “I could just drink it!” That’s when I realized how starved people are for nourishment – the kind of nourishment one can only get from whole, fresh foods from the Earth.

Thinking back to my school touring days, I remembered how my lectures enlightened and inspired students and parents to change their diets. Now, I was preparing food that people seemed to love. They were inspired by the information, they enjoyed the food and they seemed, on the whole, to have a genuine desire to create healthy habits. These experiences made me think that our culture’s health was on the upswing, but nutrition-related disease statistics only continued to rise.

What’s Really Going On Here?

 Today, a major cause of disease and death is attributed to the Standard American Diet. Most people have heard the danger warnings behind eating certain foods and listened to health professionals recommend a whopping 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables. Even so, it doesn’t seem to be enough to motivate people to adopt a healthy dietary practice. Why?

What we know to be healthy food is expressed in a virtual all-you-can-eat buffet of diets that claim to be “the ONE” we need to achieve the energy, beauty and vitality we so desperately crave. This dietary smorgasbord includes: vegetarian and vegan diets, the Blood Type Diet, Raw ‘Living’ Food Diet, Macrobiotic Diet, Mediterranean Diet, the South Beach Diet, the Maker’s Diet, and an overabundance of others from doctors and nutritionists claiming theirs is ‘the ONE true way.’  While there is a lot of fluff out there by way of dietary advice, there also exist many doctors, researchers and food pioneers steering us toward more functional foods and serving us up a variety of facts, studies, recipes and foods full of integrity.

With all this information around, you would think we would be convinced and on our way to healthy food heaven. But instead, so many of us are still confused – perhaps even overwhelmed. Even though food has been my study and part of my own life purpose, I will admit to living in a state of nutritional confusion many times. As I experienced life in an aging body, my health challenges increased and I found myself experimenting with nutritional protocols to keep my bones strong, alleviate my allergies, keep me focused, and give me the energy I need to live out my robust appetite for a full life.

Health pioneers have been my teachers, my guides and my mentors as I searched for answers along the way, but my own body has been my best teacher. My dietary changes – some out of necessity and some just for fun -fueled me to finally creating a dietary practice that includes many aspects of the above-mentioned diets. When sick, my drive came out of desperation, but it was my soul who drove me most of the time with the quest of creating a practice that supported my own desires and lifestyle. The search and creation was driven from the absolute respect I have for the treasure given to me in this lifetime – my body.

The Solution: Knowledge, Wisdom, Skills & Inspiration

 Healthy food for our bodies and our environment has become a necessity. There are practical reasons that go beyond our personal health. We have become more aware of our connectedness to all life on Earth, and have discovered how our agricultural practices and food production over the past 40– 50 years have destroyed and continue to destroy the quality of our air, water and soil, and simultaneously, the quality of our own cells. Our fast food lifestyle and factory-made food is robbing many of us a healthy old age and is threatening our children’s future. Most everyone knows this on some level, so why isn’t it changing faster, and what can we do about it?

There are many reasons why people are not heeding the call to eat healthier. I’ve found three:

1.     Ignorance about just how powerful food is to our mental, physical and emotional health, as well as the health of our air, water and soil.

2.     Lack of skills, time and money within our fast-paced, not-enough-time, too-expensive lifestyles.

3.     Disconnection from nature and our Source, utilizing knowledge without wisdom and spirituality.

1. Ignorance, in all due respect, is just a lack of knowing. Even though nutritional warnings are on the news and in the media often, it seems that people don’t realize the significant role diet plays in our mental, physical and emotional health. Because we live in a medical paradigm and pharmaceuticals are continually crammed in our face through clever advertisements to remove all symptoms of disease, there is a huge in-congruency impacting us daily about how our bodies work naturally.

In my work, I find that people of all ages know what healthy food is, but don’t realize that the right dietary practice can heal almost any disease including diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure and even cancer, to name a few. Conversely, the wrong foods can destroy one’s ability to focus, learn, bend, feel, digest, run, play, express and love.

Our culinary lifestyle today creates our body of tomorrow. Why do you think the celebrated Centenarians live to a vibrant 100 years old? It is because of how they lived their entire lives with an Earth-based diet, adequate exercise and an intimate connection to nature and their Source.  The Surgeon General said it twenty years ago: “Eighty percent of our diseases are diet-related.” Food is far more powerful to the human body than most give it credit.

Remembering what we do to the Earth we do to ourselves, and what we do to ourselves, we do to the Earth, it could be said that 80% of our environmental diseases are also diet related.  Again, I find people are really concerned about the environment but have no idea that their dietary choices contribute significantly to its condition, and that they play a huge role in reversing the situation.

My intent for bringing agricultural and nutrition awareness forward in tandem is to illustrate the vital link. We can no longer afford to be ignorant.    Understanding the interconnectedness of our nutritional needs and biological similarities will hopefully bring us into the light of awareness where we can make more mindful choices.

2. A fast-paced lifestyle = no time, no skills, no money.  Popping into a fast food drive-through for breakfast, lunch and dinner has become a way of living. I am still surprised at how many people I see eating at fast food restaurants. Many people don’t make their own meals simply because they don’t have the time or the skills. We really don’t even have a defined food culture, so to speak, like the French, Italians, Chinese or Hispanics. Besides cookbooks, which are focused primarily on weight loss or gourmet cuisine, there are not many practical solutions to help people develop methods or recipes to integrate a new dietary practice into a 20th century life. I learned nutrition from books, but learned to prepare food by doing. That is why I created cooking shows for people.  I found it easier to learn by watching and reading along with hands on instruction. Pricey culinary schools for professional chefs exist, but there are not many real culinary schools for healthy-home chefs.

Unless someone is extremely motivated, has a terminal disease or overweight, it can be challenging to learn a whole new lifestyle around food within an already packed schedule. I found many people thirsty to know precisely what to buy, how to make it, and how to incorporate it into their lifestyles, but those same people simply lacked the time and resources to make healthy living a reality. This is understood with compassion for people doing their best.

Money is another matter. Hearing over and over again that healthy food is too expensive launched me on a mission to inform people otherwise. In truth, it is not. Some food items will cost more at point of purchase, but if you are buying whole foods instead of expensive packaged foods, you will actually save money. You will no longer be buying junk foods, which means you will save money. The principles of Essential Cuisine takes budget into consideration and advocates buying in bulk and centering meals on cost-effective foods.

The time has come to find time to learn. Learning new culinary skills is an opportunity to exercise your creative muscle. It is also a way to socialize and be with family. Particularly at a time of economic stress, pooling resources and making meals together can be an enchanting way to share, create and bond.  Most people just want to be together and play, so how about learning to make healthy meals your new form of play? Call your friends or engage your family and children, and begin learning skills that will last a lifetime.

3. Connecting to nature: a deeper and more spiritual relationship. You might be asking, “What on earth does spirituality have to do with a culinary practice?” We each started in a seed of magnificent potential that is uniquely our own. Our bodies are a gift – the vehicle in which we live our life and evolve. Although much of our evolution is focused within our inner world from our experiences and intentions, our physical body has a great deal to do with becoming a beacon for our intuition, our ability to reach our unique potential, and live in alignment with our larger body, the Earth and our Source or God, whatever or whoever that is for you.

How can the faculties of our own system respond to growth, love and contribution if we are sick, mentally clouded, dull and emotionally unbalanced? How can our children meet the challenges we give them if they are sick and over-medicated? For us to live a life of purpose and contribute our unique gifts, we must have a vehicle that functions in harmony and peak performance. For this to happen, we must fuel ourselves with clean air, water and nutritious food, and not poison ourselves eating substances that are not truly ‘food’.

Finding a purpose in life has become a popular quest for many. In Rick Warren’s book, A Purpose Driven Life, he advocates serving God first as our purpose. Many people want to serve – to serve God, family, and community.  People desire to make a meaningful contribution with their lives. I know I did and do still.  My purpose was first manifested through my service to teaching about food and working in schools. I found value in connecting people to the larger world of their environment through the study of health and agriculture. Later in my life, an even deeper purpose arose in me out of complete devotion to my own body and being – a call I had to address so that I could continue to serve others to my full potential.

If our purpose is to serve God, then how can we deface the very thing God gave us to live this life? If we treat our bodies poorly we are abandoning our God-given potential. How can we serve God, our children, or our communities in the best way? The answer came for me by embracing an attitude of complete reverence for the gift of life and becoming an impeccable steward of my own body, our environment, and all life on Earth.

At the risk of sounding preachy or gooey, there is no better way to say it.  This is my only life and my only body. I want to live the privilege given to me in the highest form and in the best way I can. I want to be vibrant enough to show up for what life brings me, and what I can bring to it. I want to be fully awake and present to God (my source), myself, my family, and my community. To achieve this I must keep my body in the best condition possible. I love taking care of her like she is my prized possession, because she is.

If you are passionately craving a spiritual connection and meaningful purpose in your life, perhaps you too could adopt this state of reverence. You’ll be giving yourself the respect you deserve, and the respect God deserves by including yourself and life within your purpose.

This attitude is the seed of my personal motivation. I have had the honor to journey through life experiences with a study around food. I found that preparing food with family and friends with intention, and stewardship, nourished me to my core. I know it will do the same for you. It is in the act of connecting to the larger life we are all experiencing that gives rise to greater intimacy and a sense of community. We become nourished together in many ways.

Like most journeys, there is no clear, definitive end to my own. I am still on a path of discovery. Laced with challenges and insights that reveal how the human garden is grown, I can see more clearly now that we reap, sow, grow and maximize our God-given potential according to the choices we live by. What is clearer to me than ever is that this single act of reconnecting to what really matters and merging our seed and our soul has to start now.

And it starts in the kitchen.

Susan Teton


Copyright © 2014 - Teton Speaks

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My 69th Birthday Suit & Half Off Sale

Chef teton's 69th birthday suit

July Birthday Sale of 1/2 Offall my Online Courses. Here I am with 3 beautiful women, 30 and younger. In the pics we just completed a "Chocolate Scrub Body Polish Ceremony" led by my awesome friend, Andrea, for my Birthday. I will be sharing much more about Andrea and her incredible body polishes and products soon.

You can see our skin glow while in the water washing off the chocolate/coffee/salt/sugar combo. I feel fortunate to to learn from these young women who are so playful and conscious.

They are just embarking on their own journey of self stewardship realizing that the quality of their life now and in the future are dependent on all of their choices today.  With conscious discernment they choose a health foods, a diet rich with food that is grown in alignment with Earth's living systems; daily meditations; yoga and movement; loving thoughts and feelings, and lots of play. What impresses me most about them is their generosity of spirit - always helping with a loving hand and attitude. They are positive contributors for our present and future generations. Yeah for them! Lucky me to learn from them.

With this celebration of my 69th Birthday I want to share with you what I have learned, and how I have learned to Make Every Bite Count. My 6 Online Course are now available for you at 1/2 off the already low price until July 15th.  This is my gift to you. Please take advantage of it. I know you will benefit.

Below are the Courses and the special links you need for the HALF OFF coupons. If you want to know more about each course, visit the Online Courses page on my website (http://www.chefteton.com/online%20courses/).

But, make sure you use the link below for the HALF OFF price (if the link does not work, copy and paste in browser)

The Raw, Cooked & Cultured Course – 38.00

https://www.udemy.com/eat-to-look-feel-fantastic/?couponCode=ChefTetonHalf

Raw Cacao Desserts -14.00

https://www.udemy.com/make-orgasmic-healthy-chocolate/?couponCode=ChefTetonHalf

The 4-Week Dietary Makeover – 78.00

https://www.udemy.com/get-a-hot-body-4-week-dietary-makeover/?couponCode=ChefTetonHalf

The Complete Raw Food Course – $29.00

https://www.udemy.com/make-tasty-raw-foods/?couponCode=ChefTetonHalf

Healing Foods with Ayurveda Cooking - $19.00

https://www.udemy.com/healing-foods-with-ayurveda-cooking/?couponCode=ChefTetonHalf

Cultured Veggies and Other Fermented Foods $24.00

https://www.udemy.com/make-cultured-super-foods/?couponCode=ChefTetonHalf

Yeah for Birthdays. Let's keep them coming while we thrive! Aloha, Chef Teton

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Mom's 90th Birthday Party - April

Mom's 90th Birthday Party

Here is my Mom on her 90th Birthday celebration in April. Yes, she looks amazing. She is a beauty, always has been. Her spirit is stronger than any human being I have ever known. He voice still sounds like a teenagers. Happy Birthday Mom!

Thank you for all the gifts of life you gave me. Thank you for boosting me out of the nest at 18 with total confidence that I would manage beautifully. I carried that confidence throughout my life, always knowing I could do whatever I wanted.

Thank you for instilling our family with a sense of FUN. Yes, we had fun! There was lots of humor, singing, playing and laughing.

There was also lots of love. I always knew in the deepest part of my soul that I was loved. Even though you could not provide me with everything you wanted from the material world, you gave me what money could not buy and that was love. You drove me crazy for years and I never could understand why. But, it became my life's journey to drop the rebel identity and seek love, acceptance and respect for you. Perhaps it was that we were very much alike.

Thank you also for your fierce independence. You always lived with a strong intention to take care of yourself and not depend on your children. Even though it was hard for you, you showed up strong.

Thank you also for teaching me to have style and that looking groomed, clean and as pretty as possible was important. Thank you for sending my sisters and I to modeling school so we could learn manners and how to be graceful with our way in the world.

Thank you for being there for my son, for traveling with me to Northern California to visit him. Thank you for not allowing me to go through our tough times alone.

Thank you for teaching me at a very early age that healthy food is important to build a strong body. Some how it was a catalyst in creating a path for me that has been extremely fulfilling.

Thank you for your children's songs and for singing us to sleep at night. God Bless you.

MomForPost

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My Journey With Mom & Self Care

Chef Susan Teton Campbell

Self Care

My heart is busting with grief today as I read about another shooting, and another person crazed out on pharmaceutical drugs. A Father is crying out about guns while most people don’t realize there might be a gun in a pill. Now, I am not saying the prescribed pills made him go crazy, but it is worth noting that every person who has committed a massive act of violence in the past 15 years was on, or had been on psychoactive drugs.  Most of them were young. But, psychoactive drugs are just a drop in the flood of physical, mental and emotional alterations from other meds such as addictive painkillers and opiates.

I am especially drawn to the effects of these opiates and painkillers after my last visit to Mom’s. Again I spent 4 weeks in her tiny house, absorbing the crazy world of their long term effects, not only the health of her body, but their effect on her inspiration, motivation and the human drive to express and create.

My Mom has become my teacher. She has shown me how I do not want to live, and even more importantly how I want to live out my remaining years. I write this for you, because I can see from my experience with her where we are headed. I see that we must become aware and impeccable with our choices today because it is what we do today that builds our body and life of tomorrow.

Mom has been taking 4 Vicodin a day for 15 years. She has been taking sleeping pills as well, plus many more other medications as prescribed for various reasons. The cycle began with Vicodin s for the pain in her colon from Crohn’s disease. Instead of addressing and healing the underlying condition of the intestinal wall, it was covered up with opiats. Perhaps the Vicodan would have been good short term to get her through a period of time of discomfort and to facilitate her healing, but it was the only remedy ever considered. 

What this practice did over time was diminish her inspiration and motivation for her to take any other action toward healing her fragile intestinal system. She was never even presented with an option for healing. Her diet of Vicodin consequently resulted in her loss of appetite, which then led to malnourishment. The loss of motivation further led her to a diet of Insure – a can that was easy to open. The Insure, along with the Vicodin enhanced her addiction and led to severe constipation. Severe constipation led to laxatives, diapers, pain and discomfort. With inspiration and motivation gone all that was attractive was a life glued to her bed and TV.

This is a brief picture of how each symptom builds upon another until the quality of life is so altered that all that is left is existence without an appetite for other more fulfilling options that life can offer.

The addiction to the drugs/meds, led to the addiction of a lifestyle that consisted of very little travel, no meaningful work, loneliness, premature dependency, disorganization, fear, shame, embarrassment, Dementia, and the saddest part are the faded dreams unrealized.

In hindsight I did not totally comprehend what her lifestyle of addiction really meant until I visited her again this past April.  When I first arrived my Mother slept for 3 days. I sensed she was drugged and investigated eight of the meds she was taking.

One of them was for her dementia. The side effects were drowsiness. I decided to wean her off of it, lessening the dosage each day. She began to wake up and participate with more life in the following days. I made an appointment with the doctor to go over all the medications. We had to wait a week.

Then the chaos started. Two 911 calls were made due to the severe pain in her rectum. On the first visit they gave her an enema but nothing came out, if you know what I mean. During the next two days the confusion was insane. She would take laxatives again without telling anyone, and then forget that she took them. She would go to the toilet all night long, just releasing dribbles. Then she would sleep during the day. This meant no sleep for me since I was up with her during the night. The diarrhea resulted in a loss of electrolytes making her severely weak. In an effort to help her I tried everything I could think of to provide her relief. I failed. Upon further investigation we thought she might have a growth of some kind. Another 911 call. This time I wait and talk with doctors in the ER.  I tell them all the meds she is on and ask that they do an ultra sound to check for a potential block or growth. The doctor was amazing. He told me they would give her three enemas and then if nothing, he would manually excavate the colon. I looked at him in amazement. Are you serious? I am sure you can imagine the visual I conjured up in my mind.

She was cranky and I don’t blame her. The nurses were amazing, kind and compassionate. I decided to leave and let them handle her, as they were much better at it than I. It was 9:30 PM and I was hungry and tired. I left her to their care and proceeded home. The doctor called me at 1:30 AM saying she was released and I could come and get her. Oh darn, I was hoping they would keep her for the night – or longer. I was so tired and needed a space.

When I arrived at the hospital to pick her up the doctor told me he manually removed a few large (fist full size) balls of hard black fecal matter from her colon. I just stood there and stared at him again, getting a visual of what he went to medical school for. He told me he sees this all the time. Ouch.

As they wheeled Mom out she complained the entire way to the car saying, “I am never going back to this hospital again, they did not do a thing. They would not give me a blanket or anything, and I was freezing.” OMG, she had already forgotten the entire experience. Well, at least there are some advantages to Dementia.

The next few days she was able to absorb the benefits of fresh orange juice, steamed veggies, and a fried egg and toast. She blossomed. It was incredible to watch her bloom like a dry flower being watered.

This lasted a couple days until her addiction to Insure kicked in and she went to the store and bought several cases. Then the cans began to open and she refused the food I made because she was just “not hungry”.  The vicious cycle began to start again.

A couple days later the real sign of addiction reared its ugly head again when she misplaced her brand new prescription of Vicodin. We could not find them anywhere and she could not remember where she put them. I would explain to her over and over again that she misplaced them, but she did not remember. She thought I hid them from her. I tried to get more but the pharmacy and doctor would not give out another prescription because it is now a controlled substance. I thought that was an interesting word, “controlled”, because that is exactly what these drugs did to her. She was totally and completely controlled by them.

 She began to go through withdrawals and the confusion and chaos that ensued was more than I could ever explain here or more than you would ever want to know. Let’s just say that the bottom line of where this vicious cycle leaves you is complete dependency on the pharmacy and others for care.   

What I came away with was a deeper understanding of what this addiction to opiates caused her life. I had been witnessing her decline for over 15 years. When my Mom would say she was too lazy to make her own food, I remember that I judged her for her laziness. When she would cry and say she wanted to get the children’s songs, that she wrote when we were youngsters, published, I would give her instructions of how she could proceed, but she never did. When she longed to have friends over or go places and sing, she would end up giving into her bed. When I tried to teach her how to use her remote control to access the TV guide, she could not even entertain the concept of learning something new. I never understood it totally and I judged her for being so lazy, and not having any will to at least try.

After this last trip I realized that her will had been robbed from her through medications that dimmed her light, and stole her inspiration and motivation. I saw how the cycle had caused a system of living that now depended on the medications and then more medications to deal with the long-term side effects. 

I wondered, “Could she have chosen differently with the beliefs and mindset that she grew up with?”  I am not so sure. She believed that the doctor knew best, and that medicine cured. She felt that any other type of healing modality; an herb, diet or anything that resembled a healthy alternative approach meant that is was not “real”. She needed, wanted something stronger. I am not criticizing her choices, although I sure used to. I am not even saying she should have done things differently. What I am saying to myself, and to you, is that our elders are our teachers now. They are showing us the quality of life inspired by the path they chose. Now, as we become the elders, we might be able to choose from knowledge and wisdom rather than ignorance.

What do you want? Are you on medications now that may have long term effects? Is there something else you can do to heal or alleviate your symptoms? My Mothers doctor was not nearly as shocked as I was at his new duties of cleaning out colons. He confessed to me that he sees this all the time. It is becoming the new norm with the elderly. 

Although I am sure we are all doing what we can for self-care, perhaps we must become more wise and prudent of our practices today.  Bad habits are a form of addiction that form a lifestyle that can become a rut. Before we know it, years will have passed by, and all of a sudden it might be too late.

As I reflect on my own life and self-care I realize that I have created some very good, and some very un-healthy habits. I am seeing areas of my daily practices; mentally, physically and emotionally that could use a boost.  I am pondering my deepest needs and learning not to act out of habitual patterns but instead form new self care practices so that the light of my motivation and inspiration can still burn bright.

In many of my late night phone calls with my Mom, I sometimes hear that a flicker of inspiration still lives in her to actualize her dreams, but her lack of motivation pushes them into oblivion where they lay dead. Yes, she is 90, and I get that faded dreams are inevitable, but I find it sad that someone might feel, at the end of 90, that they have failed rather than lived. 

This is a difficult story to tell because there are so many underlying viewpoints and energies floating in the existence of life. My motivation in sharing this story is to bring up the act of “self care” and look closely to what it means without the veil of illusion. I hope to dive deep with you and others as to what “self care” really means and how we can rally to the challenge to care for ourselves with love, respect and wise choices so that we can live out our dreams, be a model for those that follow, and feel complete at the end of our journey.  

 

 

 

 

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Anyone Want To Get High?

FullMoonBeach Happy New Year!

Full moon beach- Happy new year

When you read the subject line, "Does anyone want to get high?" What came to you mind? Did you think I was going to offer classes on how to make marijuana brownies? Well, not yet. But, I would like to open a dialogue about what makes you high. While we are on the subject, what does “high” even mean to you?

More and more people are using Marijuana for enhanced appetite, pain management, deeper sleep, mood enhancers, and just plain fun. People are also taking lots of supplements and pharmaceuticals to alter their mood and state of being. And, then there are those who like to fast to get high, run a 10k or do a yoga class.

For me, I can get high walking out in my front yard feeling the thick wet grass beneath my feet, and the morning sun on my skin. I am a nature nut, one might say. Being in beautiful nature just turns me on. I can also get high after a great work out, a wild dance or a fantastic meal.

Yet, one of my favorite highs is a full moon on my beach at home. I get excited and begin making plans a week or so in advance. Seriously, I am a bit overboard with the moon.

Just a while ago a friend called me and said she was leading a group tonight and the theme would be “Full Moon – Full Life”.

So with that said, what excites you? What gets you high? How does getting high help you live a full life?

I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below:




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Visiting Mom - All of a Sudden My Life is Different

All of a Sudden

My arena is changing, as is all life. I just noticed that mine changed enough to seem like it changed-- all of a sudden.

Do you know that place where “all of a sudden” just happens?

All of a sudden you will need a haircut, your jeans are too tight, or you notice wrinkles on your face. All of a sudden your bank account is empty, and you are getting old. You know it is coming, but you don’t notice until the effect has accumulated enough to get your attention.

This just happened to me. I went home to visit my family and some close friends. After fourteen months of island living, I reluctantly boarded a plane for LAX. I was about to enter a world familiar and yet alien, both at once. I wasn’t on the plane for more than an hour, when I started sneezing. I landed sneezing, red nose and stony eyes. Exhausted from getting ready to make the journey (it was now 10 pm), I boarded a shared van and braved the freeways to my Mom’s house in Costa Mesa, CA.

My Mom greeted me from her apartment, her pink door wide open in an elder-housing unit, within a very short walk of a large park, a library, fire station, The Coffee Bean, Sav-On Drugs, FedEx Kinko's, a stellar yoga studio, 24 Hour Fitness, AT&T phone store, UPS Mail Store, Mothers Market, Trader Joe’s, Edwards Cinema Complex, the bus stop, Bev Mo Liquors, plus: shoe stores, used clothing stores, baby furniture and so much more.

I make a bed on her couch, with a box of Kleenex close beside me. The fan is on to help drown out the TV, playing in the small room next to me. The patio door has a stick in it to keep us safe from potential intruders, and the night-light is on in the kitchen, three feet from my head. The bathroom is twelve feet away with a night-light, too. There is something cute and quaint on every single counter, table and wall. There are family photos everywhere, along with large posters: photos of Clark Cable and Marilyn Monroe. Mom’s makeup mirror and makeup are on the edge of the bar that divides the living room and kitchen. There are rugs everywhere, and tiger striped pillows, along with a guitar and piano. It is funky, colorful, with a sense of organized mess. The person who put this house together knows exactly what she wants. She is messy, but most the time she is (at least) consciously messy.

The bottom line is that her house feels inviting, cozy and loving, even though dusty and crowded. Despite loud trucks unloading their cargo at 5am, when it is still dark, the hum of the 24-hour television, the earplugs hurting my ears, and the small too soft sofa, I sleep well. I guess it is because I am at home. This is Mom’s home and she is the one with whom I have spent most of my life. She is home to the deepest part of me – the good, the bad, and the ugly – all wrapped up together, to recall my origin.

Mom is 89. She runs the show in her apartment. I try desperately to make some space for my things, thus moving some of hers. I don’t think she will notice. She does. She drives, and lives on Insure and zucchini cakes. She is still very cute and how she looks is still as important as it was in her days as a young teen, when she worked in Hollywood theatres as an usher.  She won’t step out the door without her lipstick on. And, I better have mine on too, or I will hear about it.

What I was not prepared for in any way was her memory or lack thereof.  Yes, she was forgetful last year and repeated stories to me over and over, but the stage at which her dementia has progressed is surprisingly alarming. It takes me several days to catch on. I would forget that she forgets. Simple messages about where I am going and when I am coming home are thrown to the wind. When I ask what she would like to eat, I always get the same answer, “Nothing sounds good, but if you make it, I might have some”. After a while, I quit asking.

Doctors call me and ask that I monitor her medications. While there I catch on that she was taking more than seven! I begin to wonder if her four doctors ever conversed. Then, I find prescription bottles tucked in her bed – some empty and some half full. When I try to create order, she gets furious and hurt by my efforts. She feels helpless when reminded of her age, all the while using every bit of her spirit to keep motivated and alive. She is sick, has Crohn’s Disease, and takes four Vicodin a day plus sleeping pills, blood thinners, steroids, antiviral meds, and more. She is in pain 24-7. I am terrified to drive with her, yet she drives just fine, as long as she is within her one-mile radius.

All of a sudden, my Mother is an old person, with dementia, and she needs more care than ever before. All of a sudden, I am the oldest of four, who is caring for her. Last year, she could still get dressed up to go out and sing (which she loves to do and is good at). This year, she declines. She even declines a cocktail, which I make myself every night, to cope with my confused feelings. She once commented while I was there, “Oh God, I don’t want to grow old and not drink”. All of a sudden, what used to be fun is no longer.

Don’t get me wrong. My Mom is not someone who is going to go down without a fight. She dyes her hair flame red, wears big hoop earrings and always looks stylish and adorable. Her big blue eyes are still full of wonder and her sense of humor is vibrant. She is creative and once wrote a dozen clever children’s songs, which she longs to see published in the world.  She is a character that everyone loves. She is a family treasure, for sure.

There is more though, to my story of a family in transition. My sister, one year younger than I, is undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. It is stage one, and she is doing well, but even so, there is a shift in how we spend our time together, what we talk about and how we relate.

Last year, and all the years previous, when my siblings and I gathered, we would get dressed up to go out.  With lipstick on and in our sexiest clothes, we would head to a friend’s house or to a local bar for Happy Hour. This year, Mom and I got dressed up to visit my sister at the hospital while she receives chemo. Mom insists on driving, which terrifies me. I find myself putting vodka and tonic in my water bottle.  If my friends and students could see me now! I needed to medicate myself while visiting the medicated… Oh, my!

I am terrified to see my sister get chemo. Seriously, I do not think I can handle sitting in this large sterile room with IV’s attached to her. My world is so radically different and I feel so ungrounded. I tip my water bottle, containing my secret potion, and ease into it.  My sister is not the only one there. What is happening to our people? I am overwhelmed and pray for help. I finally relax and begin to settle into acceptance. I see that this is my opportunity to love unconditionally, to be in grace with every moment. I am shocked at my inability, at times. Vodka helps.

Looking back, I wish I could have laughed at all the insanity, the chaos and looniness of it all. While I was there I just keep acting like the eldest of four children; taking care and fixing as much as I could.

I finally came to experience, and to be, just loving and accepting – sort of. No matter what any of us are doing, we always have the choice of how we will “be” within an experience. This is what matters most. Not that “doing” is not important. But, if “doing” comes with crankiness, anger or resentment, it is better left undone. No matter if my Mom argues with me about what she said, or screams at me for intruding with her doctors, or my sister has decided to go a route I could never imagine, how I “AM” with them and me is what matters.

In retrospect, I wish I could have been more fun. I wish I would have listened to my Mom’s stories over and over, instead of reminding her that she already told me. I wish I had spent more time watching stupid TV shows with her, and participated more with her movie star gossip. I wish I could have listened to her favorite radio show, when she asked me over and over again to join her. I was just too busy, it seemed, and honestly, too uninterested. I was scared, too. Is this where I am going? Oh, God!

When I come home, my nerves were fractured, and yet I had to show up for a previously committed full schedule for a couple of days. I am so emotionally exhausted and ill equipped to respond when asked, “How was your trip? Did you have fun?” I want to scream, “NO!” It was not fun. There were high moments, but I have not had time to process the profound “all of a sudden” changes to my life, at home, yet.  I feel confused and so far from the “peace of being” I know so well. Where did I go?

Two days after arriving home, I finally have the space to go for a walk on one of my favorite beaches. I go early. There are few other souls there. I heave a big sigh when absorbing the look and feel of the trees and the vast ocean that lay before me. I approach the water’s edge of soft lapping waves in a day-dreamy state. The moment the water touches my feet, a stream of energy erupts from my being and I begin to cry. The cry turns into a sob, a loud sob as I progress down the beach. Good thing there’s no one around, except the unseen ones who carry me and hold me through my mourning.

Clarity came with that cleansing of my nervous system. I was grieving that life, as I knew it with my family was “over.” A huge sense of sadness had come over me for the loss of what was. I was in deep mourning. I cried and cried with sadness and then all at once, gratitude washed over me. We had come so far, my family and I. We are fortunate in so many ways. Now, the place I have always journeyed to, called “home,” is different, all of a sudden. Perhaps that is what breaks my heart wide open. We have had such longevity together, and much of it is over. It went so fast!

The cleansing flow of grief made room for the fear that was buried deep within me. All of a sudden, I face the fact that more loss is just around the corner.

All of a sudden I am an elder who is facing a loss of my own.

My new challenge, which is really a very old one, is to stay in Grace with radically changing times. The only way I know to do that now is to stay very close to my center and “be” in the bosom of the vastness I call God.  Then, when “all of a sudden” comes again, perhaps I won’t need vodka.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Name is Teton And I Will Speak

How I got the name, "TETON"

Tetons - Photo by Bob Stovern

It was the summer of 1995. After a full year of “butt in chair – computer on”, John Robbins recipe for writing a good book, Todd (my partner and co-author of the Healthy School Lunch Action Guide - HSPL) and I finished the year long journey of writing our book. HSLP was fresh from the press.  A well deserved summer vacation was planned.

Wyoming was hosting the Rainbow Gathering that year and we were ready for a wild and eccentric adventure. We set out from Santa Cruz, first stop to be Salt Lake City to pick up Paul, a friend we had not seen since we met a few years back at the Ranch in OK. Paul was a Naturopathic medicine man from Australia who was cut like a magazine model, with beautiful blond hair falling to his shoulders. None of that really mattered though because when he spoke, he commanded an attentive ear. His knowledge and wisdom was delivered with as much grace and strength as was his walk when he glided across the Earth, his blond mane flowing with a whisper of wind from his gate.

Todd, my boyfriend and partner in work was also a stunning example of natural testosterone inspiration. His 6'4" frame and wavy black hair presented a dynamic energy that waned in comparison to his hearts expression.  He was strong, passionate and cared deeply about all life on Earth.  I must have done something wonderful in my life to have been gifted the experience of a summer adventure with these two amazing men.

After spending a night in Salt City, the three of us ventured our early the next morning for Wyoming. We were all geared up for the Rainbow gathering first and then a back packing trip to the Grand Tetons. By early evening we joined thousands of others at the Rainbow site, parking and preparing for the long hike into the forest where the gathering took place. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw how far I had to hike in with all my gear. There it was, an S shaped trail of gatherers hiking up a very large slope disappearing at the top as they descended into the valley where the gathering was taking place. For those of you who have never been to a rainbow gathering let me tell you a bit about how it works.

No cars are to enter the valley where the gathering is being held. There is a very large parking area on the plains below where some 20 to 30 thousand people will leave their cars. Everyone and every thing is packed in. As we drove into the parking area, we were greeted with the same words over and over, “Welcome Home”, they said. These words, the song of the Rainbow Tribe, resonated in your soul each time you heard them and each time you said them. The tone was set. We were all coming home.

This was my first Rainbow Gathering and my first back packing trip, you know, the kind where you have to carry a 50 lb. pack on your back. I was more than intimidated when I saw that huge hill.  Todd and Paul were hurrying me as it was getting late. They wanted to set up camp before dark, but I could see it was not going to happen. As the sun set the trail became alive with flashlights and candles. Like a highway in the night you could see a long trail of lights traversing the hillside. “Welcome Home”, each gatherer said as we passed. I loved being welcomed over and over again and began to settle into myself and let go.

The sound of drums became louder and louder as we approached the top of the mountain in the dark. When we came out of the forest at the top of the knoll we looked down to see a huge light from the largest bon fire I had ever seen. The drumming was loud, passionate and calling us. There were hundreds of people around the fire to shield the view of the drummers and the fire itself. OMG, I whispered to myself. I was absorbed by the powerful vision and sounds, and wanted desperately to see what was happening. I tip-pee toed up as high as I could to see in, but my feet would just not stretch enough to see over those in front of me. I looked back and saw a mound of dirt about 20 feet back. With my pack still on my back I climbed to it’s top and peered into the center of the wildest awesome spectacle I had ever seen. There were at least 30-40 drummers surrounding the huge bon fire that must have stretched 30 feet in diameter. Women with little to nothing on their hips were dancing topless and wildly to the beat of the hypnotic drums.  Their hair was loose and wild as the flames of the fire glistened on their on their shiny wet skin.  Wooooowwww! I was awestruck as I felt this deep desire rise out of me shaping words that said, “Now that is what I want to do”.

Within a few days the “hippie” in me, denied for many years, came out in full bloom. We danced, played, told stories, slept under the moonlight, bathed in the streams, cooked outdoors, participated in numerous ceremonies and danced some more. When I danced to the beat of strong and passionate drummers around the main circle at night, I was devoured with tribal remembrance.  Yes, Welcome Home.

After a week of blissful fun, it was time to pack out with the rest of the children, parents, brothers, sisters and elders who joined with us to celebrate our gift of life.

The three of us, Todd, Paul and me, rested for a couple of days at natural hot springs and then ventured our way to the Grand Teton National Park. With hiking permits and maps in hand we circled up to align for our journey. I expressed my concern of never having gone deep into high country such as this, where there are bears and other dangers, not to mention that I was carrying everything I could possibly need in life on my back. I was concerned that I might try to keep up with the guys, even though I never could. They were both over 6’3”, younger and stronger than I. Requesting that they be sensitive to my female needs, they promised to take good care of me.

We set out rather late, so my request was already not honored. We had to hurry to climb several thousand feet to get to our camp before dark  – no time to rest – no time to meander. It was a full out hike with a 50lb pack on my back.  I remember stopping up above the timberline, as my legs could not carry me even one more step. From high above I head Todd’s voice call down with a commanding plea, “Don’t sit down”. He knew if I did, I might not get up again. I finally made it to the top just as the last light of the day faded. We set up our tents, ate something dry and boring and went to sleep. Who could sleep when knowing a big grizzly might come and eat me. Oh, God, what have I done now?

Todd and I had been playing with different names for me.  It seemed everyone was naming himself or herself something cool that embodied an aspect that they wanted to take on, or a deeper part of who they were. Often, Shaman or spiritual teachers would name their students. But, I had not been named yet since my studies of shamanism, and so we explored by calling me different names. I always loved rivers, so I tried on the name River for while, but it did not feel right. River Phoenix, the actor, had just recently passed in a very early death. I felt close to him as he was a supporter of our work at EarthSave and helped with the publication of our book. I had even called on him the day before to help me get up the hill. Who knows if he helped or not, but it felt good to call on him.

The next days, deep into the Grand Teton park, we walked through fields of wild flowers, and up over glaciers. Yes, I still had my pack on my back but each day it was getting lighter. There was something to be said about having everything you need on your back. I could go anywhere I wanted at any speed and I would not long for anything. Instead the beauty of the Teton’s, and the essence of being far away from life’s usual stimulants devoured me.

When we descended into one of the valleys on our 3rd day I was enthralled with the abundant plant and wildlife of what seemed like a million varieties. Surrounded by white peaked glaciers, hundreds of streams of water found their way to the valley floor. The white snow on the peaks was melting and gravity made it possible to give life to trees, flowers, and grasses that subsequently gave life to the animals and insects that lived there. As I walked through this maze of assorted life I could not help but think of the mountain peaks as the breasts of the planet. They reach high into the sky collecting moisture and holding it there until it is time to let it go and feed the birth of new life in spring. Like the mother of a newborn, the mountains release the milk of life just when it is needed.

On the eve of day four, I was getting tired of the guys. They would bicker about our resting place each night, one wanting to settle early and other willing to move on until dark for the perfect place. Of course, we were all getting just a little cranky and tired of each other. We finally settled at dusk on a large rock that thrust itself over a raging river. Again, it was almost dark. The peak of the Grand Mother Teton lay out before us seeming so close we could touch her. We were very high up and perfectly positioned to gaze upon her glory. The trek was worth the effort. We decided to spend the evening in silent meditation, and pack out separately the next morning. We would be going downhill and out of the park, so we felt it safe to be alone. I was so excited to get away from the guys and go at my own pace.

During dinner I fell asleep while eating, my head dropping down onto my plate. Todd lifted my head gently and said his only words that evening, “Susan, please eat”. I was just so sick of cornmeal and wanted nothing more than to sleep. With a few more bites I settled into my sleeping bag in between the guys. I was awaken by the light of a dawning day while the guys kept sleeping. Excited to go it alone, I quietly rolled up my bag, heaved my pack on my back and took off down the trail - alone. Ahhhhh.

After an hour or so, the sun bathed her warmth on me, and the trail.  As I approached a wide place in the river I decided to bathe and change my clothes into something cooler. There were three moose that had the same idea. They frolicked and splashed fairly close to me in the sun sparkled water. Together we freshened for a new day. A sense of euphoric joy washed over me with every splash of water as I connected to its origin and the journey it took to get to me from the mountain.

With my shorts rolled up, a hankie around my neck, and my now light pack on my back, I stepped on the trail with a lightness of being. My gate reflected a “Zippety do da” kind of song. I felt strong and happy bopping down the trail with the Grand Mother Teton in full view ahead of me. Alone on the trail with a swift gate, suddenly, without any forethought whatsoever, I thrust my arm out toward her and called out loud with robust enthusiasm, “So, Grand Mother” “What shall I call myself?” A voice came back instantly that said, “Take my name”. My gate came to an abrupt and sudden halt. Surprised I looked around to see if anyone else had heard the words, but there was no one anywhere in sight. Slowly I began to walk again, my entire mood shifted in awe as I began to feel what had just happened.

That voice is still alive in me today. Who was it? Where did it come from? Was it I? Was it the mountain? Do mountains talk? I don’t know but I knew I was spoken to and it was there and then that I accepted the gift and took the name Teton.

Soon I arrived at park entrance and went inside to find out more about the Teton’s. What did the name mean? What was its origin I wondered? Here is what I found out:

The origin of the current name is controversial. The most common explanation is that "Grand Teton" means "large teat" in French, named by either French-Canadian or Iroquois members of an expedition led by Donald McKenzie of the North West Company.[5] However, other historians disagree, and claim that the mountain was named after the Teton Sioux (Sue) tribe of Native Americans.[

I could relate to both. I had just experienced the mountains as the breasts of the planet so I related to the Mother energy to feed and nurture new life. I also knew that there was a day long ago, perhaps in another life that I wore feathers. Whatever, I knew I resonated deeply with the Native American teachings and philosophy of life. Like in mantras they say there is energy in the vibration of words with strength and power that far surpasses the intellectual definition. When I say “Teton”, when I say, “My name is Teton” I feel solid and aligned, and yet just a little shy. It is like I have become naked and am revealing the deepest part of myself. And yet, when I express the deepest part of myself is when I feel at home. So, as I took the name Teton I said to myself, "Welcome Home".

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Is Prevention Enough To Motivate You? Jack In The Box, Spam, Ensure

What motivates you?

My Elevator Pitch

Not too long ago one of my siblings called me. He proceeded to tell me that he had just made a sandwich out of old-fashioned white bread, tons of mayo and Spam. Then he told me how delicious it was and how much he enjoyed it. He was gloating the entire time.

OK, I thought. “Well, that is just wonderful”, I said, “I am glad you enjoyed yourself”. He got great pleasure out of sharing this with me. Why all the gloating, I wondered? What’s up with this?

He is not the only one. I am often teased by family, friends and neighbors about how I eat, do yoga or whatever is healthy.  Trust me, I am not a fanatic. Well, I don’t think so anyway.

Then there is my Mom. She is 89 and has Crohn’s disease. She has suffered from it for over 12 years with chronic pain and lack of energy. She has taken 4 Vicodin a day for as long as I can remember and antibiotics at least once a year.

Mom's diet consists of mostly candy, cake type muffins and Ensure.  I don’t even get how she is still alive. But, she is, thank God. She does quite well each day as long as she stays in her home environment. The sad part to me is that she is constantly suffering from pain. She keeps going to the doctor so they will “fix” it. But, they can’t.

I have sent her to other nutritionists thinking if someone else inspired her she might make a few changes. Didn’t work.

When I visit her she will usually eat what I prepare, and raves when I make her a yummy green smoothie, saying it feels like a shot of life going into her body. But, she will not do it herself. Opening a can of Ensure is the route she takes, and now her consumption is up to a 6-pak a day.

Then there is my own son, who also still enjoys fast food on a daily basis, and my sister who loves Jack In The Box tacos. I confess I used to love them too, but when I found out what was in them, well my love faded.

What am I to do? Obviously, nothing, because everything I have tried has failed. Even some of my good friends would rather take a drug with serious side effects than reverse or heal a condition that is giving them pain. They accept the condition blaming it on genetics and blow off the possibility that almost all symptoms can be reversed through diet and movement. We know now that we have the power to keep a negative gene we are carrying from expressing itself through lifestyle changes.

This does not make sense to me. It is amazing that I have the confidence to do what I do as no one in my family takes on what I teach. To make it more confusing, they write me and say how proud they are of me, and what I do, saying that they think I am amazing. ???? What is going on here?

Are you a person who has taken on the new food revolution, a person who cares about what you eat and are rather “picky” when it comes to your choices? Do others riddle you? Or do your loved ones take you in stride, saying, “yeah, yeah”, as they pop a Twinkie?

What is your story? I would love to hear.

Another thought:  I just took a course to help me with my business. It was said over and over again that people are not interested in prevention. They are usually not inspired until they “have to make a move” for their survival.

Is this true? Is it true for you?

I was inspired before I got sick because I don’t want to get sick. I don’t want to be an ailing old woman. I want to be healthy, vibrant and strong so I can live my life’s dreams.

How about you? What motivates you? What inspires you? What makes you decide on awesome choices despite others around you who don’t feel the same?

Or, do you know better but do not do better? Do yo know better but do not care?

What do you struggle with around this whole issue of eating as healthy as you can and taking care of this grand body of yours?

Go to the comment window and share a picture of your life.

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"The Tapping Solution", a New Book

This is my first post that has nothing to do with what you put in your mouth,but EVERYTHING TO DO WITH YOUR HEALTH.

Why?

Because I know you care about your health, and if you are struggling in any way, I have something fantastic that can help you NOW!

Here is my short story about a simple, yet effective technique that I learned to shift my energy dramatically!

"Not what you put in your MOUTH"

A couple years ago while trying to find the answer to my fading energy, I stood in my kitchen trying to figure out what I should eat or how to shift my diet. While searching my mind for an answer a voice said to me, “Your problem will not be solved by what you put in your mouth.”

Dang, I thought. Now what?

Time went by as I studied many body mind modalities including The Work of Byron Katie, meditation and the completion of all the Avatar courses. I heard of EFT (Tapping), but never took it seriously or learned the technique.

Then magic happened and The Tapping Solution fell into my life. I am not sure how, but the Tapping Summit showed up in my "in-box". After listening to a couple of pod casts I was hooked.

I proceeded to listen every day that they introduced a new pod cast (20 recordings in all) of The Tapping Summit.

WOW! I was blown away by the depth and scope of the areas covered in the Summit by experts in all fields: weight loss, healing, pain, spirituality, visioning, headaches, sexuality, success, trauma and more.

I tapped along as I listened, transformed by the versatility of this effective energetic technique. It excited me because I love the study of energy.

Then the test came to try it. One day while suffering from blocks unknown, I began tapping while walking the beach in the morning. Through the process I discovered the blocks and they faded away.  By the time I was home, 30 minutes later, my energy shifted dramatically. In other words, I had some!

Before my walk I felt like I was filled with concrete and pulling a train. Wow, now I was light, my mind was empty, yet clear with enough space for new inspiration. Ahhhhh....

The Tapping Solution is amazingly effective, so simple and FREE. Although a professional facilitator well serve your wonderfully, you can easily learn to TAP yourself. It is easy to learn, especially with the new book just coming out today (April 2, 2013).

With the purchase of the book,  THE TAPPING SOLUTION by Nick Ortner, incredible BONUSES and resources are being offered that you DO NOT want to MISS!

The BONUSES include audio recording, The Tapping Solution movie, video trainings by experts in the field and more.

I am quite serious when I say that this is a fantastic opportunity that is only being offered during the book launch.

I strongly urge you to GET THIS HERE BOOK NOW while the opportunity to receive these BONUSES is available.

I promise that you will so glad you did.

All proceeds of the sale of this book go to a very worthy cause. Click here now to see what is available and the wonderful work they are doing with trauma and relief around the world.

Aloha, Chef Teton

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://thetappingsolution.com/cmd.php?Clk=5010325

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